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Tuesday, Jun 06, 2023

Depressed mom admits manslaughter for strangling autistic son

Depressed mom admits manslaughter for strangling autistic son

A 49-year-old mother who had depression and strangled to death her 21-year-old son, who had an intellectual disability and autism, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the High Court on Tuesday.
Appearing before Judge Susana D'Almada Remedios today, the defendant Chen Xueping pleaded guilty to committing manslaughter in a flat on the first floor of Ying Kwai House in Kwai Chung Estate on September 4 to 5, 2020.

As the prosecution accepted Chen’s guilty plea, the judge adjourned the sentencing to May 12. Chen will be remanded in custody pending one probation report and three psychiatrists’ reports.

The court earlier heard that the son, Wong, was born in China in 1998 and had been diagnosed with mild intellectual disability, autism, and epilepsy since he was little. He had been living at the residential hall of TWGHS Tsui Tsin Tong School in Wong Chuk Hang since 2009 but returned home after reaching the age of 21 by August 2020.

The tragedy occurred at around 1 am that day. Chen had an argument with her husband over issues with taking care of the children, and Wong, who locked himself in the toilet, had been making noises and refused to come out.

Chen fed Wong one and a half pills of amisulpride – an antiemetic and antipsychotic medication. She then turned a plastic tablecloth into a 1m-long rope and strangled Wong for two to three minutes.

Chen texted her husband and friends and told them she grew tired and could no longer bear the stress of caring for Wong. She also told them she would die alongside Wong and reminded her husband to take care of the remaining children in the family.

Chen then took about 20 pills of amisulpride and some more sleeping pills. She also cut both her wrists by two to three centimeters with a cleaver knife before going to sleep next to Wong.

As Chen’s suicide attempt failed, she woke her husband and 13-year-old son up and confessed that she had killed Wong. The younger son found Wong had collapsed and reported to the police, as paramedics arrived only to pronounce Wong dead.

A forensic examiner said Wong was suffocated to death by the rope tied around his neck. The side effects of amisulpride also made Wong more vulnerable to suffocation.
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