A butcher has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his ex-wife’s aunt, dismembering her corpse, and dividing her remains between plastic bags and a suitcase in a case that the judge has described as “chilling.”
Ngan Wing-chau, 52, was last night found guilty of murdering 62-year-old security guard Chan Sau-wa in his apartment in May 2016.
The seven-person jury reached the five-to-two verdict after nine hours of deliberation.
The jury also found him guilty by a six-to-one margin of “preventing the lawful burial of a body.” For that crime he was given the maximum sentence of seven years in jail. He will serve both sentences concurrently, though the life sentence makes the latter a bit of a moot point.
Ngan earlier had pleaded not guilty to both charges, despite CCTV footage from the night of the murder showing Chan entering, but never exiting the apartment block where Ngan lived. The same footage shows Ngan making multiple trips in and out of the building over the course of a few hours carrying plastic bags, a suitcase, and at one point a hammer. Not a great look.
In his closing remarks to the High Court this morning, Judge Patrick Li Hon-leung said described the murder as “chilling” and that Ngan was “ruthless and calculated” in his actions, Sing Tao reports.
Li added that he had no compassion for Ngan, as the defendant showed no remorse for what he had done, and had lied to the court.
He added that Ngan’s actions had left Chan’s family heartbroken, adding that “justice may be slow, but it will come eventually.”
The defendant said that, on the day of the murder, he went back to his apartment only to find his friend, nicknamed “Ah Hoi,” stabbing Chan in the neck. Ngan told the court that Ah Hoi then asked him to help dispose of the blood-stained clothes and told him to leave.
Ngan was arrested after Chan’s son reported her missing. Police broke into the apartment to find not only Ngan trying to escape by climbing out of the window, but also blood stains belonging to both Chan and Ngan.
But according to on.cc, he also told the jury that he was forced to make a false confession after police beat him, and added that he did not know why there was blood in his apartment, arguing that as as someone who cuts meat quite often with machines, there is often blood on the apartment floor.
The court also heard that Ngan, who is originally from the mainland, had also been using a fake Hong Kong ID card to work illegally in Hong Kong for 11 years under the name “Chan Ming.”
Ming Pao reports Ngan will appear in Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Nov. 16 to face a separate charge of illegal immigration and using forged identity cards, though, again, any potential sentence would simply be tacked onto his lifetime term in prison.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse today, the victim’s son, Chan Ho-man, thanked police for their work, and expressed regret that he couldn’t find his mother’s body.
“After this verdict, I hope my mom’s spirit can finally rest in peace in heaven,” he said.