Triad hit-man feared bosses would kill him

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The Independent Online
A TRIAD 'hit-man' denied framing innocent people to protect his bosses because he knew they would kill him if he informed on them, a court was told yesterday. George Cheung Wai Hen was described as a sadistic assassin with 'strong hatreds and uncontrollable violence'.

Jonathan Goldberg QC, said Cheung deserved the 'Nobel prize for hypocrisy' after he told an Old Bailey jury he thought himself a 'gentle man' who tried to walk away from fights. He described Cheung as a bodyguard who had committed several acts of violence for his triad boss and whose aim now was 'jockeying to get the least prison sentence'.

Cheung admitted at an earlier hearing shooting Ying Kit Lam, 31, during an alleged power struggle in the Sui Fong Chinese triad. Six men are accused of plotting the attack on Lam.

Clifford Wai Ming Tang, 36, of Astley, Manchester, Jason Shui Cheung Wan, 31, of Holloway, north London, Tak Kam Chow, 41, of Southgate, north London, David Chong Chi Chan, 24, of Highfields, near Sheffield, Wai Wan Ho, 42, of Maida Vale, west London, Danny Wai Yuen Liu, 31, from Southampton, all deny conspiracy to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Mr Tang and Mr Wan deny attempting to pervert the course of justice by threatening Cheung when they visited him in jail after his arrest. Mr Tang also denies possessing a firearm with intent to commit an offence.

Mr Goldberg, for Clifford Tang, said Cheung had had 'an obsession' with guns since he was a child and bought gun magazines. He said Cheung, 28, was skilled in martial arts and could kill a person without a weapon. 'I was taught where to strike,' Cheung said. Cheung admitted smoking cannabis occasionally and said he had taken LSD once. He also admitted slashing a man's face with two blades taped together to ensure the victim was permanently scarred. Cheung admitted stalking the man before attacking him. He said he was 'instructed' by his bosses to attack him.

On another occasion Cheung and two other men burst into a Chinese restaurant in north London armed with iron bars. Cheung said a Sui Fong 'brother' was owed money by the restaurant owner and he went to help him get paid. The iron bars were to teach the owner a 'lesson' he said. The restaurant owner pulled a gun out when they entered and all three had to flee.

Cheung also admitted travelling to Glasgow to give a man called Ar Char a 'good hiding'. He also attacked a Cardiff video shop owner. 'I did it because I was in a position where I was frightened. I had no chance of turning away from it,' he said. Cheung was told he would get 'recognition' if he carried out the attacks, he said.

He denied that he part-owned a brothel in Bayswater, west London but admitted he had signed the lease of the building.

Earlier Cheung, told how he stalked his victim Ying Kit Lam through London's Chinatown before shooting him twice in the back in a bid to cripple him. He told the court that he was so scared he wanted to abandon it. He was ordered to stay after appealing to his bosses to quit then saw Lam talking to another man in Gerrard Street.

'I decided not to be scared any more and made the decision to shoot. I decided to end it.' Cheung said he walked up close behind Lam. 'I checked to see if anyone was watching and I pulled the trigger twice. I saw three marks on his trousers. I didn't see any blood. I thought he wasn't hurt,' he said. After shooting Lam twice in the base of the spine both men grappled in the street. Lam wrestled the gun off Cheung who ran off to a waiting getaway car.

The case continues.