An elderly man, cut off from society and considered by some specialists to be mentally ill, was sentenced to life imprisonment for an arson attack that caused panic and chaos in the Admiralty MTR station in 2004.
Yim Kam-chung, 68, sitting in a wheelchair, listened via a live television link away from the courtroom as the sentence was read. He had been isolated due to his raucous chanting - behavior he adopted throughout earlier court proceedings.
Yim, whose name is the same as the Chinese name for Admiralty, had told police that was his reason for choosing the area to carry out the attack - but maintained his innocence throughout the trial. "Did not set fire! Acquit me according to the law!" he said many times during the trial.
Justice Louis Tong said that although no one had been seriously injured, the potential for harm was still there.
Yim will have to serve at least 10 years before he can be assessed for early release. The penalty of life imprisonment for arson, without a further charge of injuring others, is believed to be a first in Hong Kong.
Before the trial, Yim had been the subject of a hearing to determine his mental fitness for trial. Four psychiatrists said he was either delusional or paranoid.
He was still found fit for trial, a finding Yim did not dispute because he was confident of being acquitted while representing himself.
In determining sentence, Tong considered two psychiatric reports, one of which was certain Yim was paranoid and delusional and suggested he be hospitalized.
Another report was ambivalent, saying that Yim "may be described as having a personality disorder."
Witnesses had testified that the Admiralty MTR station on January 5, 2004, during the early peak hours, was a scene of chaos, panic, explosion and fire. Yim was seen with a backpack, holding a lighter in one hand, and putting the flame to a cylindrical object.
"There was chaos and confusion. Shoes, clothes, accessories and bags were strewn all over the place," said a train driver who testified.
The prosecution also claimed that Yim said in a police interview: "The government took away six of my vehicles. I taught it a lesson with a disaster. My name is Yim Kam-chung. So I did it in Kam Chung [Admiralty]."
He told psychiatrists he was a great inventor who had been ignored by the media. He claimed he could build a SARS prevention hospital for HK$3,000 and had invented a gravity- powered electricity generator.
Tong noted on Wednesday that Yim was an elderly man, living by himself.
Without communication, he had become detached from society, said Tong. "We have many around us in this situation. I hope the relevant departments can take note and do the right thing."
Q1. What did Justice Louis Tong consider in deciding to put Yim in jail?
A.A conclusion from a psychiatric report that Yim was delusional and should be sent to the hospital.
B.Yim was a loner that was too dangerous to go back to the society.
C.Yim picked Admiralty as the target.
Q2. What was the motive of Yim to cause explosion and chaos?
A.A retaliation against the poor service provide by the MTR company.
B.A test on how well he was as an inventor.
C.A retaliation against the police who had taken away his possessions.
Q3. Which of the following statements from Yim were to show that he could make contribution to the society?
A.He claimed that he was an inventor to build a SARS prevention hospital for HK$3,000 and had invented a gravity- powered electricity generator.
B.He represented himself in the trial.
C.He taught the police a lesson with a disease.
Q4. "The prosecution also claimed that Yim said in a police interview: "The government took away six of my vehicles. I taught it a lesson with a disaster. My name is Yim Kam-chung. So I did it in Kam Chung [Admiralty]."" What does "it" refer to?
A.A police interview.
- susanlauLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Q1. Ans B
(A is wrong because consideration of the psychiatrist's report was only for deciding whether the defendant was fit for trial. C is wrong because there is not a hint throughout the report that the judge has considered this matter in his sentencing.)
Q2. Ans C
(A is wrong because the report gives no hints that the defendant hold any grudge against the MTR company. B is wrong because it is only said that the defendant regards himself as an inventor, while it is not said to be one of the reasons for his action).
Q3. Ans A
Q4. Ans C