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Hong Kong courts

‘I didn’t mean to kill her,’ wardrobe murder accused told Hong Kong police after strangling girlfriend

Oscar Mok recounts in detail the events leading up to death of air hostess Arbe Chan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 8:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 April, 2018, 10:17am

A Hong Kong man accused of strangling his former girlfriend and stuffing her body in a wardrobe fought back tears in a later police interview and insisted he never meant to kill her, his murder trial heard on Wednesday.

In the recorded conversation with officers, played at the High Court, Oscar Mok Chun-yin recounted in detail the events leading up to Arbe Chan Man-yi’s death, and how she wet herself after he fatally squeezed her neck.

“I did not mean to kill her,” Mok told the officers, holding back tears.

Mok, 30, denied murdering Dragonair flight attendant Chan, 26, at her Allway Gardens flat in Tsuen Wan on December 4, 2013. He did not dispute that he killed her, arguing only that he was guilty of manslaughter instead, because he killed her in an uncontrollable rage upon finding out she had a new boyfriend.

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During the police interview, recorded last year, Mok told police officers he arrived at Chan’s home that day shortly after 1pm, hoping to mend their relationship. They had been on a break since October or November, after dating for a year.

He said Chan initially promised they would get back together. But when she went to the bathroom, he read messages on her mobile phone, learning that Chan already had a new boyfriend, he said.

Chan returned to the room and tried to take the phone back, but he turned his back to her and continued to read its contents. She began to pull at him from behind and scratch him.

“I asked her why she lied to me,” he said, in the recording. “Why did you give me hope and then disappoint me?”

He said Chan said: “So what?”

I asked her why she lied to me. Why did you give me hope and then disappoint me?
Oscar Mok

Mok said Chan’s response reminded him of the bad way she used to treat him. “It was as if I went crazy, and I turned around to squeeze her neck,” he said.

It was only when he felt his feet getting soaked that he came to his senses. The liquid was Chan’s urine, he said.

Fighting back tears, the man claimed he never meant to kill Chan, and had even tried to resuscitate her for several minutes, but to no avail. He hid her in the wardrobe, to buy time to figure out the next step, he said.

After the killing, Mok fled to mainland China. He returned in February last year.

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Prosecutors, whose contention was that Mok acted with intention, argued that he had checked Chan’s roster before knocking on her door that day, anticipating the moment when she opened the door to leave for work. But during the interview with police, Mok said Chan asked him to go to her place to pick up his belongings. He insisted he did not check her roster.

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