A doctor found guilty of killing his wife and daughter by placing a yoga ball leaking carbon monoxide inside their car has been sentenced to life in prison in Hong Kong.
Khaw Kim Sun, a 53-year-old Malaysian citizen, was accused of deliberately stowing the gas-filled yoga ball in the trunk of a Mini Cooper driven by his wife, Wong Siew-fung.
A jury found him responsible for the poisoning deaths of 47-year-old Ms Wong and their 16-year-old daughter at Hong Kong’s High Court on Wednesday.
“It is shocking that a highly educated and successful man would conjure up such a calculated method to get rid of his wife,” said judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling.
Ms Wong and her daughter were found unconscious in the car parked at a bus stop about an hour after leaving home on 22 May 2015.
They were later declared dead from severe carbon monoxide poisoning, although the vehicle showed no defects such as a leaky emissions system.
The case initially puzzled Hong Kong police until they became suspicious about the presence of the deflated yoga ball in the trunk.
The court heard how Khaw – an anaesthesiologist – obtained the carbon monoxide from the hospital where he worked. He had 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 property co-owned with Wong following her death, there was no apparent motive for killing his daughter, leading to the initial speculation her death was unintentional.
Khaw had become estranged from his wife before he carried out the killings, although they continued to live together while he had an affair with a student. The couple had four children.
Additional reporting by Associated Press