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Anaesthetist who killed wife and daughter with gas-filled yoga ball jailed for life

An anaesthetist has been jailed for life in Hong Kong for killing his wife and daughter by placing a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide into their car.

Malaysian citizen Khaw Kim Sun, 53, had become estranged from his wife, Wong Siew Fing, 47, and their four children, although they continued to live together while he had an affair with a student.

Khaw was accused of putting the gas-filled yoga ball in the boot of a Mini Cooper driven by his wife on 22 May, 2015.

Ms Wong and their 16-year-old daughter were found unconscious in the car parked at a bus stop about an hour after leaving home.

They were later declared dead from severe carbon monoxide poisoning, although the vehicle showed no defects such as a leaky emissions system.

Khaw May-ling, the eldest daughter of the accused, leaves court after testifying
Image:
Khaw May-ling, the eldest daughter of the accused, leaves court after testifying

A jury found the professor guilty at Hong Kong’s High Court after seven hours of deliberation.

“It is shocking that a highly educated and successful man would conjure up such a calculated method to get rid of his wife,” Judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling was quoted in media as telling Khaw.

The case initially flummoxed police until the presence of the deflated yoga ball drew suspicion.

Khaw was arrested in September after colleagues from the teaching hospital where he worked spoke to police.

He reportedly took the poisonous gas from the hospital and told colleagues he wanted to “test its purity” and its effects on rabbits.

He reportedly told police he took the gas home to use it to exterminate rats, although a domestic helper employed by the family testified that they had no rodent problem.

While Khaw stood to inherit considerable amounts of property co-owned with Ms Wong following her death, there was no apparent motive for killing his daughter, leading to speculation that her death was unintentional.

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