Hong Kong gangster back in court for pen attack

November 5th, 2009 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, Nov 5 (DPA) One of Hong Kong’s most notorious criminals, who was jailed for 36 years for a series of jewellery heists involving 20 million Hong Kong dollars ($2.5 million), was due back in court Thursday after assaulting a prison officer with a pen.
Yip Kai-foon is alleged to have assaulted the officer with a pen in April after he was transferred to a hospital for treatment to an infected wound.

The court was told Yip had tried to stab the prison officer, a trained nurse, with a ballpoint pen as he was cleaning the wound. The officer suffered abrasions to his neck.

The 47-year-old appeared in court Wednesday confined to a wheelchair, paralysed since he was shot in the spine in a shoot-out in 1996. He pleaded not guilty to the assault charges.

Despite his disability, Yip was still surrounded by five officers. Police also stepped up security at the court building for the trial, the South China Morning Post reported.

Yip gained notoriety in the 1980s for a series of jewellery shop raids in which his gang would spray the shops with bullets from AK-47 assault rifles as they fled.

He was captured and jailed in 1985 for 18 years, but made a daring escape in 1989 when he gave officers the slip from a hospital where he had been moved after faking an illness.

He is believed to have fled to mainland China but returned to Hong Kong and was rearrested in the shoot-out in 1996. He was then sentenced to 36 years.

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