A suicidal kidnapper who preyed on a rich neighbourhood has been jailed for 10 years for holding a nine-year-old boy ransom, during which he hit the child over the head with a bottle and demanded HK$2.5 million from his parents. Debt-ridden logistics company boss Chan Ying-ho, 36, lured the boy to a soccer pitch near Ede Road in Kowloon Tong after prowling around the well-to-do area on several occasions, the High Court heard yesterday. He admitted that after kidnapping the boy on March 13, he hit him with a bottle, tied his limbs and taped him up in a flat he rented in Kwun Tong. The court also heard Chan blindfolded the boy and fed him water mixed with antidepressants. READ MORE: Macau casinos take out insurance policies after rise in hostage-taking over gambling debts The defendant pleaded guilty earlier to one count of forcible taking or detention of a person with intent to obtain a ransom. In mitigation, defence counsel Lawrence Hui Cheuk-lun said Chan – in debt to the tune of HK$2.2 million from gambling and suffering from depression – originally planned to commit suicide at the flat where he later held the boy. The court heard that after snatching the boy, Chan rang the child’s mother claiming to be a police officer and demanding an initial sum of HK$2 million, to be paid the next day. The boy’s parents notified police, despite Chan warning them not to do so. Chan requested a further HK$500,000 hours before returning the boy and threatened the family in a text message that included the family’s address. “If someone seeks revenge for him, something bad will happen to him,” he said in the text message to his mother. Police arrested Chan at Union Hospital in Tai Wai when he went to pick up the ransom. They found the boy inside the Kwun Tong flat. READ MORE: HK$15m more of Bossini heiress ransom found by police on Sai Kung hill Hui added in mitigation that Chan – whose wife now plans to divorce him – developed a gambling addiction after falling victim to a scam when he bought his flat. “He gambled on soccer matches and horse races, thinking he would able to earn the money back,” Hui said. However, he stressed this was not an excuse for the actions of Chan, who felt sorry for the boy and family concerned. Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung noted that Chan had spent hours prowling around the Kowloon Tong area at least three times before carrying out his crime. “It can be regarded as well-planned,” he said. The judge also said Chan had not only threatened the family, but had attacked a young boy, resulting in bruises at the back of his head.