A Hong Kong man strangled his ex-girlfriend during a rage-fuelled attack and hid her body in a wardrobe after learning she had found a new lover, a court heard on Thursday.
The High Court was told that Oscar Mok Chun-yin was overcome by anger during the fatal encounter in 2013, when what had seemed an opportunity for reconciliation with Arbe Chan Man-yi, 26, went awry.
Just moments after Dragonair flight attendant Chan promised him they would get back together, Mok found out she already had a new boyfriend, the court heard.
“As I knew she had a new boyfriend, I was blinded with anger, so I strangled her,” he told a police officer who subsequently interviewed him.
Senior public prosecutor Jasmine Ching told the seven-member jury in her opening remarks on the trial’s first day: “I must say this is a tragic case as Miss Chan was once the girlfriend of the defendant.”
Mok, 30, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Chan at her Allway Gardens flat in Tsuen Wan on December 4, 2013. He did not dispute that he killed her, arguing only that he never intended to do so, making it a case of manslaughter.
The court heard he told at least two friends that he had killed Chan, before fleeing to mainland China.
Mok was arrested on February 1, 2017, when he was sent back to Hong Kong by mainland authorities. After that, he admitted killing her.
I must say this is a tragic case as Miss Chan was once the girlfriend of the defendant.
Jasmine Ching, senior public prosecutor
Opening her case, Ching said the tragic love story began in 2012, when Chan and the accused first got together. But the relationship turned sour a year later and ended with Chan complaining that Mok had treated her badly.
Ching said that in a police interview, Mok claimed he turned up at Chan’s door on the day “hoping to reconcile” as Chan was leaving for work. Chan then took the day off, Ching said.
The prosecutor added that Mok told a police officer Chan agreed to get back together with him while they were chatting.
But soon after that agreement Mok found out about Chan’s new boyfriend, while looking at her mobile phone.
Chan’s “carefree attitude” made him very angry and led him to kill her, he told police.
Mok hid the body in the flat, but her family members who lived with her did not realise this until four days later, on December 8. Chan’s father had started looking for her after a colleague said she had not showed up at work. The flight attendant’s body, still in her uniform, was found in the wardrobe in her room.
The prosecutor said that before leaving Hong Kong on December 7, Mok turned up at basketball practice with injuries on his neck, sitting on the bench to observe without playing. He also met a friend from his secondary school and his ex-colleague at a real estate agency and told them he had killed Chan, she said.
He told one of the people he met that he had missed Chan very much after the break-up and had checked her work schedule before waiting outside her home. He told the friend that he had thought of killing Chan on an earlier occasion.
A postmortem report said the victim could have been strangled with her work scarf, which she was found still wearing, in combination with the killer’s hands.
Ching said it was for the jury to decide whether Mok was really angry and had lost control as he claimed, or that “he knew what he was doing and had the intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to Miss Chan even before he got to her home”.
The case continues before Mr Justice Joseph Yau Chi-lap on Thursday afternoon.
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