A mentally ill man has been sentenced to six months in a Hong Kong psychiatric hospital for stabbing a railway worker in the neck with a syringe because he was frustrated at having his ticket inspected.
Pang Wai-ming pleaded guilty last month to wounding MTR Corporation employee Wan Ka-fai with a 15cm syringe at Kwai Fong station on March 7 last year.
The 36-year-old unemployed man also admitted three counts of theft over unrelated incidents where he stole two bank cards and an electronic cash card from three people.
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Passing sentence at the District Court on Thursday, Judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung said the defendant would have been given a long prison term in normal circumstances.
Two psychiatric reports suggested Pang had suffered from schizophrenia and delusional disorder, contrary to his denial of being mentally ill. The doctors said they believed Pang had held grudges against railway staff as he felt he was being targeted.
Lin accepted the psychiatrists’ recommendation and ordered Pang to be treated in Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre in Tuen Mun.
“Had the defendant been mentally sound, he would have faced a substantial term of imprisonment for retaliating [against MTR workers] by committing such an extremely horrifying act which could potentially cause very serious injuries,” the judge said.
Lin jailed the defendant for two months over the theft offences, but suspended that term for three years.
In last month’s hearing, the court heard Pang was angry at having his ticket inspected, and had bought a syringe looking to “scare” MTR staff.
When arriving at Kwai Fong station at 5pm that day, Pang approached Wan from behind and stabbed the back of his neck with the empty syringe, before jumping a turnstile and running away.
A government pathologist said the victim did not suffer serious injury, but noted that the needle might have pierced through the deep muscles of the victim’s neck and reached the vertebra or skull.
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