Tragic hair salon altercation resulting in fatal stabbing leads to 4-year, 3-month sentence for ex-assistant

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Unite Hair Salon

11th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) A former Unite hair salon assistant was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison after a 2019 dispute led to a fatal stabbing at a salon in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. The altercation began when the male assistant accidentally stepped on a female colleague’s foot, sparking an argument. Later, when the woman sought help from friends to leave, the male assistant unexpectedly rushed out of the salon and attacked one of her male friends with a knife, resulting in approximately 20 wounds, ultimately proving fatal.

The accused, Cheung Ban, initially faced a murder charge in connection with the death of 17-year-old Wong Chi-wai. The judge highlighted that the incident, which began with a verbal disagreement, tragically escalated into violence. It was noted that despite the accused admitting to accidental killing due to unlawful behaviour, the guilty plea was only made during the court proceedings. Consequently, mitigating circumstances and case delays led to the final sentence.

During the trial, it was revealed that the altercation took place at a hair salon located at Hau Tak Building, 3 Hung Min Ct, Yuen Long, where the accused worked as a hairdressing assistant. The confrontation began with a dispute between the accused and an 18-year-old female colleague identified as Dai. This dispute escalated, leading to physical altercations, and eventually, the fatal stabbing that resulted in the death of Wong Chi-wai.

As the sentencing was announced, the deceased’s mother reacted strongly, expressing her discontent with the court’s decision, addressing the accused directly and expressing her grief and anger at the loss of her son.

The trial testimony detailed the events leading up to the fatal stabbing, including the accused’s departure from the salon and subsequent return, which led to the tragic outcome. The accused’s violent actions were captured on CCTV, depicting a confrontation that lasted approximately 30 seconds before the victim collapsed. Subsequently, the accused fled the scene, but law enforcement recovered the bloodied knife and sheath within the salon.