A 50-year-old Hong Kong man has been jailed for life after a jury convicted him of murdering his girlfriend in 2019. He hid her body under a bunk bed at their public housing flat.

Judge Johnny Chan of the High Court slammed defendant Law Wai-man as “cold-blooded” and “cruel” on Friday, when he put the unemployed man behind bars for life. The sentence of life imprisonment came two days after a jury unanimously found Law guilty of murder, local media reported.

High Court
The High Court. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

According to local media, Law was said to have beaten his 34-year-old girlfriend to death in their flat in Po Lam Estate on March 17, 2019. The victim, who was mentally ill and had taken methamphetamine, sustained more than 100 injuries, an autopsy report found. She also had 14 broken ribs and her cause of death was declared to be blunt trauma to the chest.

The degree of cruelty of the defendant was “evident” in his act of beating and tying up the victim who had no ability to resist, Chan said as he handed down the sentence, according media reports.

The judge went on to say that the victim was Law’s intimate partner and had offered him a place to stay despite him being wanted by the police. Law’s assault of the victim amounted to “biting the hand that feeds you,” local media cited the judge as saying.

Po Lam Estate
Po Lam Estate. File photo: Cychk, via Wikimedia Commons.

Mitigation letters for Law described the defendant as “good-natured” and “did not have an intention to harm others.” But such a description was questioned by the judge, who pointed to 10 cases in Law’s criminal records since 1987. Chan dismissed pleas for a lenient sentence, saying the defendant brought “indelible pain” to the victim’s family and life imprisonment was the “only option.”

Law had violated a suspended sentence order for a criminal intimidation case when he committed the murder. Separately, he is also facing kidnapping charges and is set to be sentenced by the District Court in March next year.

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Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.