‘Master meat cutter’ murder suspect claims police officers beat him to force confession
- Man claims he was punched and kneed by officers during investigation in 2016
- The 51-year-old has denied murdering his ex-wife’s aunt, whose body has never been found
A “master meat cutter” who denied butchering his ex-wife’s aunt told a court on Thursday that Hong Kong police had beaten him into making a false confession that he witnessed her demise and disposed of her bloodstained clothes.
Ngan Wing-chau, 51, claimed he ate a cup of noodles, watched TV and took a nap when Chan Sau-wa, 62, was allegedly murdered, but decided to invent a story after he was punched and kneed by officers who wanted him to cooperate during the investigation in May 2016.
“The pain I suffered at the time was really beyond description,” Ngan told a jury of four men and three women. “So I thought to myself, ‘why don’t I make up a story so I won’t be beaten up?’”
The High Court previously heard the butcher was arrested by police and held for questioning after Chan’s son reported her missing.
Prosecutors said the woman was last seen on CCTV entering Iskra Building, on Cheung Sha Wan Road, on May 1, 2016 about 30 minutes after Ngan, whom they described as “a master meat cutter”, had arrived home.
They also highlighted footage that allegedly showed him leaving the building with a suitcase and some plastic bags on five occasions the same night.
Chan’s body was never found.
In subsequent police recorded interviews played in court, Ngan was heard explaining that he witnessed his friend Ah Hoi stab Chan in his flat after he came home from work.
Ngan also confessed that he helped dispose of Chan’s bloodstained clothes but said that he played no part in the actual murder – in what prosecutors called a “fantastic account” of “complete fabrication” to pin the blame on an imaginary person.
On Thursday, Ngan testified that the interview on May 15, 2016 was taken after he was led handcuffed into a room with six to seven officers, where he was punched in the chest, kneed in the thigh and hit in the head.
They also employed death threats in a bid to make him talk, he said.
“I have got parents who loved me dearly, and my son and daughter are still minors. I have got a lovely wife back in my hometown,” Ngan continued, in tears. “If I don’t talk … this group of animals won’t treat me as human.”
Ngan was sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan the following morning. There he stayed for four days after a doctor found some injuries on his chest and left thigh.
His counsel Steve Chui asked: “How did you sustain those injuries?”
“Beaten by police,” Ngan replied.
The court heard he filed an assault report to the correctional services officers at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, where he is being remanded, in late May 2016. The case was later transferred to the Hong Kong Police Force’s complaints division.
Ngan has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and preventing the lawful burial of a body.
His testimony continues before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung on Friday.