Hong Kong jury finds ‘master meat cutter’ guilty of butchering ex-wife’s aunt despite body never being discovered
- Butcher Ngan Wing-chau, 51, was also found guilty of preventing the lawful burial of the body of Chan Sau-wa
A “master meat cutter” was found guilty on Wednesday of butchering his ex-wife’s aunt two years ago despite her body never being found.
Ngan Wing-chau, 51, closed his eyes after a High Court jury of four men and three women convicted him by a majority verdict of 5-2 for the murder of Chan Sau-wa, 62, at the Iskra Building, Cheung Sha Wan Road, on May 1, 2016.
They also found him guilty of preventing the lawful burial of Chan’s body by another majority verdict of 6-1, after seven hours of deliberation.
Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung will sentence Ngan on Thursday. Murder carries a sentence of life imprisonment.
Prosecutor Michael Arthur had opened his case describing Ngan, a butcher who worked at a meat shop in Shek Kip Mei, as “a master meat cutter”.
“He is someone with a good deal of experience in the matter,” Arthur said.
The victim’s son, Chan Ho-man, said he last saw his mother the day before she went missing. On the day she disappeared, he said she called and asked him to prepare dinner. But she never came home.
Chan was last seen on CCTV footage entering the Iskra Building on May 1 after Ngan had arrived home. The same footage also showed Ngan leaving the building with a suitcase and plastic bags on five occasions that night.
Investigators later found traces of Chan’s blood near a sofa in Ngan’s house but they could not find her body.
Ngan denied the murder of his former mother-in-law’s sister. Instead he claimed that he ate cup noodles, watched television and took a nap when the murder allegedly took place.
But he also told police that he saw a friend of his, named Ah Hoi, stab Chan in his flat after he came home from work and he helped dispose of her bloodstained clothes – in what Arthur called a “fantastic account” of “complete fabrication” to pin the blame on an imaginary person.
Ngan later told the jury that police had beaten him into making a false confession.
The defendant will return to Kowloon City Court on November 16 to face separate charges of using a forged identity card and taking employment while being a person having landed in Hong Kong without the authority of the director of immigration.