Tragic Death at Marchwood


RFA Empire Gull-dim


Fearing his soul had been contaminated by a ‘death touch’ Sailor’s Cook Tam Pui of RFA Empire Gull believed he would die if he didn’t urgently return home to Hong Kong to be cleansed. He believed that Seaman Lok Ho Yin had delivered the ‘death touch’

RFA Empire Gull berthed at Marchwood on 6 September 1975 and Tam went to Southampton where he purchased three knives. Returning onboard he went looking for Lok, found him and chased him through the galley stabbing him on six occasions. One blow entered Lok’s heart with tragic results.

Tam was arrested and readily admitted his guilt to the Police

In February 1976 Tam appeared at Winchester Crown Court before His Honour Mr Justice Ackner where he denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility – this plea was accepted by the prosecution.

It was reported to the Court by a Consultant psychiatrist that Tam was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and that he required treatment in a secure mental hospital.

The Court ordered that Tam be detained in the secure Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire until arrangements could be made for his transfer to a secure hospital in Hong Kong so that he might continue his treatment