Hong Kong mother of three takes own life after allegedly trying to kill seven-year-old son

The 43-year-old woman was declared brain dead after being rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital. Photo: Warton Li

A mother of three was declared dead on Wednesday after allegedly attempting to kill her seven-year-old son in their Hong Kong home before then taking her own life.

The 43-year-old was helping her eldest son with his homework at about 10.50am when she broke down emotionally and threatened to kill him, according to Ho Siu-Tung, Wan Chai acting district commander. Another son and daughter, ages five and six, were in the flat on Stone Nullah Lane at the time.

She was said to have pushed the boy off the bed and covered his face with a scarf. He managed to break free, only for her to wrap the scarf around his neck, before he escaped again after about two minutes.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

The woman then tried to hang herself using the same scarf in the living room but failed, then locked herself in another room, Ho said.

The children then called their father for help. Returning home from work after about 30 minutes, he broke into the locked room, only to find his unconscious wife hanging from a nylon rope.

She was rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital but later confirmed dead. The seven-year-old boy sustained minor injuries to his neck.

Ho said the household had been facing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They had not been assisted by social workers, and there was no record of domestic violence or mental issues.

Police are investigating the case as attempted murder and suicide. They called on the public to pay more attention to family members and friends suffering under the economic conditions created by the pandemic.

*story by South China/Morning Post