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Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong dog owner stabbed ‘bullying’ neighbour in throat after rows over pet, court hears

Wong Yuet-ming on trial for murder following 2016 death of San Kai-chung in Wong Tai Sin

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 6:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 10:39pm

A Hong Kong dog owner fatally stabbed his neighbour at a public housing estate 18 months ago after a long-running row over the pet turned violent, a murder trial heard on Tuesday.

Wong Yuet-ming, 54, became embroiled in a fight with San Kai-chung on December 22, 2016, after returning from a walk with his dog to the lift lobby of Lung Wai House in Wong Tai Sin, the High Court heard.

Wong allegedly jabbed a knife through his adversary’s throat, and the 49-year-old San was later certified dead at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei.

But on Tuesday a prosecution witness portrayed San as someone who liked to “cause trouble” and “pick fights”.

Security guard Yip Siu-fong recalled warning Wong multiple times to stay away from San, who would often make a scene.

“I used to tell Mr Wong: ‘Hey, that person [San] keeps saying he will chop someone to death, without mentioning who. You’d better be cautious’,” Yip said.

Wong, who lives on the building’s 22nd floor, denied murdering San, who lived on the 13th.

Wong had offered to admit manslaughter, but the plea was rejected by prosecutors.

Opening his case on Tuesday, prosecutor Richard Donald said the accused and San had a history of disputes prior to the fatal encounter on Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate.

“The two of them had disagreements about the dog,” Donald said.

Closed-circuit television footage played in court showed the fight between Wong and San in the lift lobby.

Dog found dead and four others malnourished as police hunt for female owner

Resident Ng Wai-ying testified that Wong had struck first, while Yip recalled an exchange of verbal abuse between the two.

“I was scared out of my wits,” said Yip, adding that she was too frightened to phone for help.

The prosecutor said Wong pulled a knife from his jacket and stabbed San in the throat.

Despite San having been left bleeding, Yip failed to immediately contact police, Ng recalled.

Video footage showed San on the floor when officers finally arrived.

Wong surrendered himself to police the next day after calling his nephew to tell him that San “had been bullying me for a long time”.

Yip said she had seen the pair arguing two or three times before, though she had not paid attention to the subject of the exchanges.

She said the unemployed San would often make a scene in the lobby by asking people for money.

He would also sleep outside his flat near the staircase and “answer the call of nature” there, requiring security guards to intervene, she said.

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