Man died after fight in queue

A TRIVIAL matter of stepping on toes while queueing for fast food ended with the death of a man and two men in the dock charged with manslaughter.

Being tried by a jury before Mr Justice Leong are Kok Lon-ven, 25, and Wu Ming-tak, 32, construction-work contractors.

They have denied the unlawful killing of Gan Wai-kay, 30.

Prosecuting counsel Alan Lucas, opening the Crown's case, said Gan had been queueing to buy lunch at the Cafe de Coral in Mei Foo Sun Chuen on March 9 last year.

The fast-food restaurant was crowded because it was lunch hour. Kok and Wu had been standing behind Gan in the queue.

When Gan stepped back and stood on the foot of one of the defendants, an altercation ensued.

The argument continued for some time, the court heard. Gan put his tray down, turned round and challenged the two men.

A fight took place between the three. Gan was kicked and punched but stayed on his feet, counsel said.

Eventually, because it had been two people against one, Gan retreated and the fight broke off.

However, counsel said, he had fallen to the floor a short while later. He had been taken to Princess Margaret Hospital while Kok and Wu had returned to the construction site where they worked.

Gan was admitted to hospital. He had had no pulse, was not breathing, and had bruises all over his body, particularly on his ear and neck, the High Court heard.

He had suffered a cardiac arrest and was certified dead at 2.50 pm, said counsel.

A postmortem examination found no apparent brain damage, which could have caused death.

However, in circumstances where a person received violent blows on the head, death could come before brain damage became apparent, Mr Lucas said.

The hearing continues.