Grandma accused of killing ADHD boy, 6

Top News | Jane Cheung 19 Mar 2018

A 52-year-old grandmother has been arrested for the alleged murder of her six-year-old grandson - a sufferer of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - in a love hotel.

The grandmother, surnamed Kan, was earlier seen talking to herself for about 10 seconds outside the hotel on Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. She allegedly strangled the boy with backpack straps after they checked in.

Kan and the boy were rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital, but the grandson was certified dead at 2am yesterday.

Kan had told the boy's mother that they were tired after a day out and would be spending the night in Wan Chai instead of going home in Ma On Shan.

According to surveillance footage, the two were seen entering the hotel after 5pm on Saturday.

Later at around 1am, she rushed out of the room in a state of panic and told hotel staff that her grandson had collapsed. She then tried to stab herself with a knife, but she was subdued by the employees.

When police arrived, they saw the boy unconscious on the bed, with strangulation marks on his neck. Police classified the case as murder.

Police found a hand-written note in the room, expressing a desire not to become a burden. Sources said Kan "didn't want the boy to live a difficult life."

Sources said the boy was just recently diagnosed with ADHD, while Kan was suffering from depression. The boy lived with his single mother and Kan, and the household had no record of domestic violence.

Wan Kai-ming, chief inspector of Wan Chai District, said the suspect and the mother had jobs and they took turns to look after the child.

Wan said the child was studying in Primary One, and they could not find any psychiatric record of the grandmother or a record for chronic diseases.

One of the family's neighbors, a woman surnamed Chung, said the boy was "kind and polite" and Kan was a "loving grandmother." She said Kan's daughter is a nurse and that the boy was mostly looked after by Kan.

"[Kan] used to be more laid-back but she worried about raising the boy was increasingly stressed lately."

Deputy Director of Social Welfare Lam Ka-tai said he needed more time to study the case.

Lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun, from the social welfare functional constituency, said the case shows the government's lack of support for families who have children with special needs.

"It's obvious the carer couldn't bear the pressure of looking after the boy anymore," Shiu said. He added that the Community Care Fund offers an allowance for carers, but applicants need to go through a means test. And the allowance is "usually too little to help."

Eunice Wong, founding chairwoman of the ADHD Foundation, said it is important that carers also look after themselves.

"When they are very stressed, when they are depressed or when they are paranoid they usually do not admit that they have a problem."

This is the latest in a series of alleged murders committed by close relatives.

Last October, a 34-year-old man was accused of stabbing his 77-year-old wheelchair-bound mother to death before jumping from his home in Kwai Chung. The man suffered from severe injuries and told police that "taking care of an elderly person is hard."

Last June in Shau Kei Wan, an 80-year-old man called police and said he strangled his 76-year-old wife - who was a stroke victim - to end her suffering.

And last month, a 45-year-old woman allegedly killed her nine-year-old son and herself by burning charcoal in her husband's seven-seat vehicle in Sha Tin. The husband allegedly committed suicide in January.

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