Insurance agent gets life imprisonment for killing father and throwing body into sea

Local | 5 Aug 2021 7:22 pm

An insurance agent was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his father and stealing HK$200,000 from him before fleeing to Taiwan.

Lai Kan-yau, 28, was earlier convicted of murder by jury with a 6:1 decision. 

He pleaded guilty to theft for stealing the father's HK$200,000 to repay debt and was sentenced to two years and three months for it. Both sentences would be carried out simultaneously.

Handing down the sentence, High Court judge Yau Chi-lap said that this case is a tragedy. He added that even if father was involved in family violence and the defendant was having financial trouble, it was not an excuse to kill him. 

Lai was charged of murdering his 65-year-old father at Po Tin Estate in Tuen Mun on December 4, 2018, after which he disposed the body into the sea near Wah Fu Estate on Hong Kong Island the next day. He also withdrew and transferred HK$200,000 from his father’s bank account from the day of the murder to December 6.

The body of Lai’s father, wrapped in plastic bags, was discovered on the morning of December 6. Lai escaped to Taiwan that same day, but he admitted to murdering his father later that day when the police notified him of his father’s death. Lai returned to Hong Kong that night and was arrested at the airport.

A forensic pathologist reported six fatal wounds on the father’s neck. The pathologist also deduced that he was unconscious when being murdered, as alcohol and sleeping drugs were detected from the blood test and his hands showed no signs of struggling.

Lai claimed during the trial that he had been contemplating suicide due to financial difficulties and went to see his father on the day of the murder to bid farewell. He further claimed that his father insulted him and attacked him with a chair when he asked for HK$200,000. He then accidently stabbed his father to death with a knife.

Judge Yau stated that the father’s verbal and physical violence against Lai and his mother could not justify the murder. He also stated that he ruled to shorten the original three-year-long imprisonment sentence of the theft by a quarter due to Lai pleading guilty.

The judge also urged the Correctional Services Department to follow up Lai’s claim of being bullied when imprisoned to ensure similar incidents would not happen again.

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September 2021

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