H O N G K O N G, Dec. 6, 2000 -- A court sentenced three HongKong men to life in prison today for torturing a youngmother, cutting up her body and stuffing her skull into a HelloKitty doll in one of the most brutal killings in thisterritory.
Chan Man-lok, 34, Leung Shing-cho, 27, and Leung Wai-lun,21, were found guilty of manslaughter and unlawful imprisonmentby a jury in November after a six-week trial.
They stood expressionless in dark suits as the judge readout the sentence. There will be no review for parole for 20years.
“Never throughout the years in Hong Kong has a court heardsuch cruelty, depravity, callousness, brutality, violence andviciousness, perpetrated by a human being, or human beings, onanother human being,” said Justice Peter Nguyen.
“Even an animal would not have been maltreated in the sameway as that received by the deceased.”
Psychiatric reports described the three, members of asecret triad gang society, as “remorseless.”
The jury accepted that the men did not kill 23-year-old FanMan-yee with intent, which would have meant a mandatory lifesentence, but it determined she died as a result of theirabuse.
The exact cause and date of Fan’s death is not known asonly her skull, one tooth and her internal organs, which werefound in a refrigerator in the flat where she was killed, wererecovered.
The gruesome crime shocked Hong Kong. The macabreinvolvement of the mouthless Hello Kitty — a cartoon characterwell adored in Hong Kong — kept the public and the local pressriveted.
Nguyen described the trio as having “psychopathictendencies” and as “likely to remain a danger to others” as hemeted out the maximum penalty for manslaughter.
The men kidnapped Fan in March last year and tortured herfor a month in a flat in Tsim Sha Tsui because of a disputed“debt” of HK$20,000 (US$2,560).
The crime came to light when the 14-year-old girlfriend ofone of the men informed on them after she suffered nightmaresfrom witnessing, and partaking, in some of the torturesessions.
In return for immunity, the teenager, identified only as“Ah Fong,” described how the men amused themselves as theyterrorized and inflicted sadistic acts on Fan almost daily.
Daily Torture Sessions
High on drugs, they laughed as they burnt her by drippingmelting plastic on her feet, beat her with iron bars, pouredchili oil in her wounds, urinated into her mouth, and attimes, strung her up by her hands with electrical wire. On oneoccasion, the victim was even forced to eat Ah Fong’sexcrement.
When they tired of this, they would go off to the next roomto play video games as the mother of a one-year-old son driftedin and out of consciousness.
When Fan died in April, they put her in a bathtub and cuther up with a saw. Fearing a stench, they boiled her body partsand threw them out along with the household rubbish.
As they boiled down her head, the court was told of how thefour cooked noodles for themselves over the adjoining hob — attimes stirring the head and the noodles with the samechopsticks.
‘I Have Never Seen Such a Cruel Case’
“It’s difficult to mention a perversion worse than that,”Nguyen said. “In my mind, the three of you treated the corpsewith such callousness and lack of feeling that when she wasalive, you [probably] did not treat her like a human being, butlike an object.”
Senior inspector Alvin Cheung said Fan’s killing was themost gruesome case he had ever seen. “In my 21 years in thepolice force, I have never seen such a cruel case. Of someonetortured to such an extent for a month,” Cheung told reporters.
Fan’s husband Ng Chee-yun said he was satisfied with thesentence. “But how can I ever forget,” Ng said.