Jobless father pleads guilty to killing 'burden' autistic son

Top News | Adeline Mak 28 Jul 2016

A jobless father pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his autistic son, whose body was found with 100 wounds and fatal cuts to his neck and chest.

Choy Sin-hung, 61, was accused of stabbing his 15-year-old son before he attempted suicide. He faced one count of murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by the prosecution.

Sentencing was adjourned to August 11 pending background psychological and psychiatric reports.

"The defendant did not have the right to deprive his son of his life even if he was worried no one would take care of the son," High Court Judge Maggie Poon Man-kay said.

The court was told that Choy had two sons, aged 15 and 10. The elder son was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old and had obstacles in communication.

On June 24, 2014, Choy's wife received a call, requesting her to work in the mainland. Choy received a call from his eldest son's teacher the following day, saying his son picked up a fight in school.

The court heard that at around 10pm on June 25, Choy reported to police saying he had killed his son.

Police went to Choy's home in Yuen Long and found him covered in blood, sitting on a bed next to his son, who was unconscious. They also found two knives.

Choy reportedly said: "Sir, I killed my son with two knives."

The autopsy report showed that the son sustained 100 wounds, and that cuts to his neck and chest were fatal. Choy claimed he was worried that no one would take care of his son when he got older. A psychiatric report showed he was stressed and suffered from depression at that time.

Choy said under caution that his son struggled as he stabbed him while he was sleeping. Choy also said he tried to kill himself with a knife and he had planned it four to five days earlier.

He said his son was a burden. In his suicide note, Choy said the family would have a hard time as long as his elder son was alive.

The defense said the domestic helper who took care of the son resigned before the incident, adding to the defendant's stress.

In mitigation, 738 letters were presented, including 715 from parents of children with intellectual disabilities and one from lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung.

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