Man, 81, gets light sentence for killing ailing wife

January 09, 2019 17:01
A High Court judge said the case deserved extrajudicial considerations in light of the circumstances that prompted the man to kill his wife. Photo: HKEJ

An 81-year-old man who killed his chronically ill wife in 2017 will soon walk free after a High Court judge issued a light sentence for his crime, saying he deserved leniency, reports.

Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling sentenced Wong Kok-man to two years in prison, which means he will soon be released from custody since he has already been in remand for 18 months and the remainder will be deducted from his term because of good behavior. 

The judge said Wong wanted to put his 76-year-old wife out of misery, noting that the physical pain and psychological torment he was suffering prompted him to do what he did. 

While taking away human life is a serious offense, the defendant is no longer a threat to society because he is no longer suffering from mental issues, according to the judge, who also noted it is not in the public interest to detain him for a long period because of his age. 

The court heard earlier that Wong and his wife had depended on each other after their only son committed suicide in 2007. 

In 2015, the wife was hit by a stroke that paralyzed the right half of her body. She also suffered from high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and a thyroid disorder. 

Wong, who had been taking care of his wife every day all by himself, strangled his wife at their home in Shau Kei Wan on June 6, 2017, before he called the police and informed them of his crime a few hours later. 

He told police he was worried that nobody would have looked after his wife and she would have starved to death if he died before her. 

He was originally charged with murder before the prosecution decided to change it to manslaughter, to which he pleaded guilty. 

The judge said the case deserved extrajudicial considerations in light of the fact that the defendant had been tortured both physically and mentally for a long time

He was also suffering from serious depression, which affected his judgment and led him to believe that killing his wife was the only way out. 

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