The murder trial of a 28-year-old security guard ended abruptly yesterday as the judge overseeing the case told jurors to convict Chan Yat-wah of manslaughter over the killing of his girlfriend. Mr Justice Darryl Saw ruled that the evidence did not support a murder charge in relation to the beating death of Chung Mui-fong, 48, last year. A murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence while manslaughter typically carries a lighter prison term. Mr Justice Saw's decision came after barrister Phil Chau petitioned the court to throw out the charges against his client, who agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter. The judge called manslaughter 'the proper verdict in this case'. 'It comes down to intention, which must be proved by the prosecution,' he said. Under police questioning, Chan said he 'punched and kicked' Chung during an argument, but 'didn't know she would die'. That evidence, and Chan's attempts to contact Chung after the beating, suggested he may not have understood the severity of her injuries, said the judge. The jury could only find Chan guilty of murder if the evidence left them with one conclusion: He intended to kill his girlfriend or knew it was a 'virtual certainty' that the beating would cause grievous bodily harm or death. That was not the only reasonable view based on the evidence, Mr Justice Saw said. Chan will be sentenced tomorrow.