CHINA — A university student studying in mainland China has admitted to trying to kill four women in Hong Kong more than two years ago in hopes of being sentenced to death after several failed suicide attempts.
Mr Liu Yueteng pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder in the High Court on Wednesday in relation to the random stabbing attack at Garden Hill in Sham Shui Po on October 11, 2019.
Asked by a court interpreter if he would admit the allegations against him, the 26-year-old lowered his head and replied softly in Mandarin: “I confess.
Mr Liu was a fourth-year student at a mainland tertiary institution when he entered Hong Kong in 2019 on a round-trip permit on October 1 – a day marked by official celebrations of the founding of the Republic. People’s Republic of China and widespread unrest in the city. triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill.
The 24-year-old checked into a hostel under a hill named after the Garden Company, a local bakery whose former headquarters were located nearby.
The student carried out the attack 10 days later, targeting four women who were exercising on the hill that morning.
He first approached Ms Lam King-king, 57 at the time, stabbing the woman in the neck and back with a fruit knife at around 10.10 a.m. after standing beside her for nearly of one hour.
Three other women fled after witnessing the attack, but Mr. Liu caught up and assaulted the trio before fleeing the scene in a taxi.
Ms. Wu Bodi and Ms. Liu Wenlian, both 50 years old at the time, were stabbed in the neck and back, with the former also sustaining a gash in the abdomen. The other woman, Ms. Zhang Xuandi, then 54 years old, was stabbed in the left side of her chest and lacerated in her neck and left shoulder.
Ms. Liu crossed the border via Lo Wu with her passport later that day, after losing her round-trip permit. He dyed his hair neon green before returning to Hong Kong on October 13 through the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint, where police arrested him.
The student admitted he was the abuser in two subsequent interviews. He said he planned his attack in hopes of getting the death penalty on the mainland, as he had previously failed to kill himself.
Knowing there was no death penalty in Hong Kong, Mr Liu said he had aimed for the vital signs of his victims as he believed his wish would only be granted by killing people and making confessions on the mainland.
The student claimed he turned himself in to mainland public security authorities after the crime, but was told he would not be arrested for an offense committed across the border, so he returned to Hong Kong once again to seek a prison term.
The court heard that the four women did not suffer any permanent physical injuries.
Ms Lam, who moved to the mainland after the incident, said she experienced mood swings and occasional flashbacks to the attack, with a psychiatrist diagnosing her with delusional and post-traumatic stress disorder .
Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping adjourned sentencing until June 6 pending further assessment of the defendant’s psychiatric condition.
In Hong Kong, attempted murder carries the same maximum penalty as murder, namely life imprisonment.
This article first appeared in the South China Morning Post.