A mother in Hong Kong pleaded guilty before the High Court to manslaughter for drugging, strangling and slashing the wrists of her 16-year-old daughter.
Kwok Lin-choi, 54, appeared before Judge Andrew Chan Hing-wai on Tuesday and admitted to killing her daughter, Tsui Lok-yee, in their flat at the Tin Heng Estate in Tin Shui Wai on Oct. 10, 2019.
A neighbor spotted Kwok sitting on the window ledge of her home before calling police, who responded to the neighbor’s call. They eventually found a suicide note on a desk, bloodstains on the floor, a fruit knife covered with blood by the bedside and Tsui’s dead body on a bed with her right wrist slashed.
Kwok was brought to a hospital, where she was heard saying to herself, “I killed my daughter; I want to die with her … The cut must have hurt so bad, she was definitely in so much pain. Why did I do that?”
Kwok was diagnosed with dysthymia in 2004 by psychiatric services. A doctor noted Kwok’s distress to her challenges in child care, marital conflict and interpersonal relationships. Psychiatrists also diagnosed her with major depressive disorder and severe depression with psychotic symptoms.
While Kwok was apparently in stable condition the few years prior to her crime, she reportedly relapsed following an argument with her teenage daughter.
“I felt that my daughter had changed, so I gave her some sleeping pills and then killed her with a fruit knife,” Kwok told officers.
Kwok expressed beliefs Tsui had become “very ill” and that “the air quality on Earth was poor,” making her “helpless.” She claimed that could not afford the medical fees for her daughter’s “illness,” so she wanted to kill herself.
She also told a government psychiatrist that she was upset about her daughter’s romantic relationship with a schoolmate. Her negative thoughts surfaced after witnessing violence during Hong Kong’s anti-government protests in 2019, according to the psychiatrist.
Tsui’s autopsy concluded her death was a result of strangling while under the effects of sleeping pills and antidepressants that Kwok had given her.
The defense counsel urged the court to be lenient with Kwok, claiming she was not in a state to control herself during the crime. The judge, however, expressed concern that a lenient sentence would not appropriately dissuade others from committing similar offenses in the future.
Judge Hing-wai adjourned Kwok’s sentencing to May 17 due to pending background and probation reports.