Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong wardrobe murder suspect tells court victim taunted him by saying she would rather have sex with another man

Oscar Mok tells the High Court that he went into a fit of rage after being belittled by ex-girlfriend Arbe Chan, and following her death, considered surrendering himself but ‘didn’t have the guts for it’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 April, 2018, 5:39pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 April, 2018, 10:41pm

A Hong Kong man accused of strangling his former girlfriend and stuffing the Dragonair flight attendant in a wardrobe testified in court on Monday that he lost self-control when she told him to drop dead and taunted him by saying she would rather have sex with another man.

Oscar Mok Chun-yin, 31, also claimed Arbe Chan Man-yi, 26, attacked him first by squeezing his neck before he retaliated and killed her at her flat in Tsuen Wan on December 4, 2013.

“At the time, I was very angry because I felt suffocated,” he said.

In the witness box for the first time, Mok told the High Court that he had considered turning himself in multiple times after the incident, but “didn’t have the guts for it”.

Mok earlier denied murdering Chan but does not dispute that he killed her, citing an uncontrollable rage upon finding out she had a new boyfriend.

Prosecutors said he strangled Chan at her Allway Gardens flat in 2013 after what was meant to be a reconciliation talk that turned sour.

On Monday, Mok said their relationship had been on hold for about a month or two, before he went to the flat that day to retrieve his belongings, as well as to salvage their relationship.

He said Chan had previously complained about his long working hours as a property agent. So before visiting her, he had already quit his job, according to Mok.

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At first, Chan saw it as an act of sincerity, he said, and then agreed to get back together with him.

But when Chan went to the toilet, Mok found flirtatious messages between her and another man on her phone. “[I was] very unhappy because I discovered she had met someone else,” he said.

As she returned and tried to snatch the phone back, she also admitted to having a sexual relationship with the man while on a work trip in Beijing.

“It is better for him to do it to me than for you. You’d better drop dead,” she told him, Mok recalled.

He said she then added: “I’m happier doing it with him. You have absolutely no use.”

Mok said Chan then began to squeeze his neck, making him feel suffocated. He lost control and strangled her until he noticed his feet were drenched in her urine.

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While a pathologist previously cast doubt on Mok’s claim that he had tried to resuscitate Chan, the accused insisted on Monday that he did so, although his hands were weak at the time. He said he put Chan’s body in her wardrobe to buy time and think of his next move.

Mok said he then returned home to pack and took about HK$100,000 (US$12,800) to HK$200,000 of his mother’s money before fleeing to mainland China.

But he returned to the city on the same day and went to Mong Kok, where he deliberated outside a police station whether to turn himself in. While staying in various local guest houses, the thought to surrender himself would once more cross his mind, he said.

Mok added that he tried to commit suicide months later with a plan to inhale fumes from burning charcoal. But he failed because he had consumed 20 sleeping pills before that and did not manage to light up the charcoal.

He said till this day, he still needed sleeping pills to fall asleep.

Referring to Chan, Mok said he met her in late 2012 and described his first impression of her as “quiet but playful, and with a bit of a temper”.

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Mok, who used to pick Chan up at the airport almost every day after work, said he thought of her as “Miss Right”. During their relationship, he said she once claimed to be at her grandfather’s house, when she was actually in the home of a pilot. But Mok said he forgave her.

In 2013, an incident occurred between the couple, putting them on a cooling-off period. The court was not told what happened.

The case continues before Mr Justice Joseph Yau Chi-lap.