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Hong Kong courts

Argument over women led to hammer-attack death, elderly defendant tells Hong Kong court

  • 79-year-old charged with murder tells High Court he killed ‘good friend’ in self-defence
PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2018, 6:24pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2018, 6:53pm

An elderly man accused of murdering his friend told a Hong Kong court on Friday the dead man’s lust for women ultimately led to his death.

Ngai Yiu-ching, 79, who said he killed Chan Kun-lan, 80, in self-defence last year, described the man as “a good friend”. But said that friendship turned sour after various women came on to the scene.

Giving evidence at the High Court, Ngai, who has denied one count of murder, said months before the killing, Chan, who was also his landlord, suddenly told him one day to offer his room to a Filipino woman, which he said was the turning point of their friendship.

Ngai said after he had rejected this request his friend swore at him.

Then, three days before Chan’s death, the defendant said his friend verbally abused him and accused him of telling others Chan was a womaniser, after he caught Chan home alone with two mainland Chinese women.

After that incident, “it was like I became his nemesis,” Ngai said.

Prosecutors said the fatal encounter took place on April 10, 2017, when Ngai struck Chan’s head repeatedly with a hammer at their Tin Sam Tsuen home in Yuen Long.

However, Ngai contested that claim on Friday, instead painting a picture of self-defence.

He said Chan, hurling expletives, pushed him first that day when Ngai arrived home from breakfast. Then, Chan took hold of the hammer attempting to hit him with it.

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In an act of defence, he said, he snatched back the weapon and struck Chan six or seven times in the head. He said Chan’s push had caused him to hit his back, while the landlord also kicked him in the groin during the struggle.

“The pain was so intense I teared up,” he said. “It was so chaotic.”

Ngai said he used a pair of jeans to wrap up the hammer, which he later disposed of in a plastic bag.

He put a bedsheet over Chan, whose forehead he described as “only splashing droplets of blood” during the attack. However, according to prosecutors, police had found larger blood stains at the scene.

The retiree, who paid HK$1,700 per month for his room, used to have dinner with Chan, and they would also lend each other money.

He said the first test of their friendship came months before the deadly altercation, when Chan suddenly asked him to move out of his room to make way for a Filipino woman.

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Ngai was asked to share Chan’s room, even though he would still be paying the same amount of money. Ngai’s decision to not do this upset Chan, the court heard.

Three days before the alleged murder, Ngai returned home to find Chan with two women, one of whom he said asked his landlord for money because he had hurt her.

Ngai recalled leaving the flat, only to receive a furious call later from Chan, who blamed him for not being able to help out in evading these two women, who Chan said tried to blackmail him.

On April 8, they had an argument laden with profanity, in which Chan accused Ngai of teasing him behind his back about fooling around with prostitutes, Ngai told the court.

Ngai contested the accusation, and said he had only joked about it a bit with their third housemate.

The deadly altercation took place two days later, and Ngai said on Friday it was all about the women.

“If I didn’t hack him to death, he would hack me to death – all because of two women,” he said.

Ngai finished his testimony, and the prosecutors are expected to make their closing speech on Monday before Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling