A man on Friday admitted talking the daughter of a well-known Hong Kong street car racer into committing suicide.
Lam Ka-wai leapt from a bridge with his girlfriend Jim Wing-laam in December 2016, but only he survived.
Lam, 22, hugged 16-year-old Jim one last time before they leapt into the sea from Tsing Yi South Bridge, the High Court heard. Jim was the daughter of “God of Racing” Jim Chong-shing.
Lam pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter on Friday. Jim Chong-shing stared at him from the public gallery, while the young man kept his head down in the dock.
Before they jumped, Jim told Lam: “We shall meet again if our destiny sees fit.”
Lam told police during the investigation that he then replied: “Let fate takes its toll.”
He was pulled from the sea soon after and sent to hospital. Jim’s body was only recovered three days later, in the waters off Tsuen Wan. Lam initially kept quiet about their jump until police arrested him, whereupon he confessed: “It was me who suggested we commit suicide.”
Senior assistant director of public prosecutions Anna Lai Yuen-kee said that, the day before their suicide attempt, the pair went to the Dragon Centre mall in Sham Shui Po to have a customised cigarette lighter made.
On it, it had their nicknames, Wai and Jim, with a heart in between. It also bore the date they fell in love and the date they were about to take their own lives: “6.3.2015 to 12.12.2016”.
No one saw the couple jump, during the early hours of December 12. But a passer-by, who heard Lam calling for help at the nearby Tsing Yi Pier that night, jumped into the water and helped him stay afloat. Firefighters later arrived to pull Lam out of the water.
Lam initially said he accidentally fell into the sea while fiddling with his phone. At a later meeting with his probation officer he mentioned Jim, but only told him that they had a fight and parted ways at the Dragon Centre the day before the incident.
It was not until he was arrested on December 21 that Lam, who was kept at a psychiatric ward at Kwai Chung Hospital, confessed.
He said he decided to commit suicide on December 11 and proposed it to Jim. She agreed, he said, and said that if one of them survived, they should not speak of the other.
Jim’s body was first spotted by a passing vessel in Tsuen Wan the morning after she jumped. But it went missing again and could only be recovered on December 15, when it re-emerged.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Alex Ng urged Mr Justice Albert Wong Sung-hau to consider how Lam cherished his relationship with his girlfriend.
Lam only survived, Ng suggested, because he was wearing a down jacket, which offered him unexpected buoyancy.
“Ridiculous!” Jim Chong-shing shouted from the gallery.