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November 2nd, 2006, 12:44 PM
A Murder for the Movies
Eight suspects go on trial in one of Hong Kong's most sensational killings
By AUSTIN RAMZY
It was a scene straight out of a Hong Kong gangster flick. On a November morning in 2002, local property tycoon Harry (Cigar) Lam was enjoying breakfast in his usual spot at Luk Yu Tea House, a Hong Kong institution famed for its tasty dim sum and indifferent service. At about 9 a.m., a nearby diner paid for his meal, walked up to Lam's table and killed him with a gunshot to the head.
At the murder trial of eight suspects in Shenzhen last week, details emerged that only added to the impression that real life was being scripted by an imaginative screenwriter. The alleged mastermind: Yeung Ka-on, a former TV actor turned property developer. But Yeung said he had only passed on an envelope from an organized-crime kingpin in Taiwan named Chen (Brother Abalone) Chun-chieh. Prosecutors say the envelope, which contained a photo and information about the victim, made its way to alleged mob boss Lau Yat-yin, accused of having its contentsnd $50,000elivered to two assassins from Hunan province. As the three-day trial wrapped up on Fridayhe verdict will be given at a later daten attorney for Yang Wen, the accused shooter, told reporters his client had admitted killing the tycoon and believed he should be executed for it.
Dramatic murders are a staple of Hong Kong's courts and media. Last year, the city was mesmerized by the trial of Nancy Kissel, an American expat convicted of drugging her banker husband with a poisoned milkshake and bludgeoning him to death. But despite its gangster lore and its flair for B-movie-style killings, the city of 7 million has one of the world's lowest homicide rates. Murders plummeted from 102 in 1997 to just 34 last year, in part perhaps because the city's gangs have shifted some of their focus to southern China. "Occasionally you have a case that's quite grim," says Roderic Broadhurst, a criminologist at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, who studies Hong Kong homicides, but "the rate is still pretty low." Most of Hong Kong's murders, it seems, still only happen in the movies.
November 2nd, 2006, 12:45 PM
Trial starts for murder plot
Eight men are on trial in Shenzhen over the brutal murder of a Hong Kong millionaire businessman, shot in the head over breakfast four years ago at one of Hong Kong's most famous teahouses.
Details of the trial, which is expected to last three days, are likely to be sketchy, with proceedings closed to the media.
But the trial opened in dramatic fashion at Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court Wednesday, with the eight suspects - including actor- turned-businessman Victor Yeung Ka- on - arriving amid tight security with hoods covering their heads.
Yeung, the alleged mastermind of the plot, stands accused of murder, along with six others. The eighth man is accused of providing shelter for the suspects.
The start of the trial, which has been held up for years due to administrative delays, opens a new chapter in the dramatic case of an alleged contract murder that continues to grip the city.
About 9am on November 30, 2002, local business tycoon Harry Lam Hon- lit, 54, sat down for breakfast with three friends at the Luk Yu Teahouse in Central.
Not long afterwards, a gunman seated at a neighboring table finished his breakfast, paid his bill, then calmly walked up to Lam and shot him in the back of the head with a single bullet.
The brashness of the attack, combined with the wealth of the murdered man and the high-profile setting, caused an immediate uproar in the community.
Since then, the ongoing investigation, combined with administrative hurdles, have created
several years delay in the run-up to Wednesday's hearing.
According to the prosecution and media reports, Yeung, a former martial arts movie star, contracted 47-year-old Hong Kong man Lau Yat-yin in mid- 2002 to murder Lam.
Lau, who has been linked with triad groups, is accused of having paid another Hong Kong man, Tse Bing, HK$2 million to hire a killer.
Tse then passed HK$400,000 of the money onto mainlanders Zhang Zhixin, 25, and the alleged hired gunman, Yang Wen, 27, at a disco in Shenzhen's Futian district in early November 2002 - weeks before the attack.
Yeung's nephew Ho Haw-foo and driver Tsui Ming-yeung are accused of helping Yeung pass along an envelope with a photograph of Lam and details of his daily routine to the alleged killers at a Kowloon train station.
On November 27, three days before the murder, Zhang and Yang crossed the border into Hong Kong to meet with Tse and to visit Luk Yu Teahouse, the prosecution asserts.
A summary of charges released by Shenzhen authorities in late 2004 claims Zhang and Yang failed to ambush Lam twice, on November 28 and 29, before hiding outside the teahouse on the morning of the murder.
When Lam arrived,Yang allegedly followed him into the restaurant to have breakfast before shooting him and fleeing for the mainland.
Two weeks later, on December 15, mainland authorities arrested Zhang at his rented hideout in Changsha, Hunan province. A few days later, Wu Weiwu, a migrant laborer in Shenzhen, was arrested for sheltering Yang and Zhang and allowing them to flee to Hunan and Yunnan provinces.
Over the next few weeks, Tse was arrested in Yunnan and Yang was caught in Hunan.
Nearly a year after that, on November 28, 2003, mainland authorities arrested Lau.
It was not until November 2005 that Yeung, who had been watched by police because of his ties with Lau, was arrested by authorities at a Shenzhen karaoke bar.
Yeung, who mainland newspapers have described as a high roller at the Casino Lisboa in Macau, rose to fame as an actor in the 1981 martial arts television series Huo Yuanjia, which formed the basis for Jet Li's recent movie Fearless.
He parlayed his popularity into an advertising stint, promoting electric rice cookers and other household products. He later became a movie director before starting an investment business that dealt in property, restaurants and mainland investment.
Lam, a former race horse owner, was a director of Hong Kong-based Digger Holdings and an investor in Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, one of the region's largest golf resorts. At the time of Lam's death, a multimillion dollar court battle loomed over unsold memberships.
So far, no motive for the contract killing of Lam has been established by either the mainland or local press.
Meanwhile, a Hong Kong lawmaker again criticized the trial as a "serious breach of one country, two systems," noting that the essential elements make it a Hong Kong case.
Democratic lawmaker James To Kun-sun said he was concerned the trial would set a dangerous precedent and vowed to raise the issue in the next security panel meeting in the Legislative Council.
Unlike a trial in Hong Kong where justice has to be seen to be done, and where murders are decided by a jury, details of this trial are likely to be sketchy.
Proceedings are also closed to relatives of the three mainland suspects.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
November 4th, 2006, 06:49 PM
Last night a Coyote was seen crossing the Ambassador bridge from Detroit to Windsor.
That's pretty weird.
November 5th, 2006, 12:47 AM
About a month ago:
A man came into a WalMart in Macon and licked a lady's feet and ordered her to do a ritual with him in the shoe dept. The old lady was very scared.
November 5th, 2006, 12:48 AM
^^ It was in the nationwide odd news section!
November 5th, 2006, 04:56 PM
You probably heard this one because it was in the news, but a couple weeks ago Steve Wynn had just arranged to sell a Picasso painting for $139 million dollars and a few days before shipping it he was showing it to some friends and he accidentally punched a hole in it. The sale was cancelled.
November 5th, 2006, 09:17 PM
I suppose the Whale swimming up The Thames was pretty bizarre, stray seals and dolphins / porpoises aren't all that uncommon, but whales certainly are.
November 6th, 2006, 05:00 AM
So you guys haven't heard of Vietnam local news, on Sat a whole city went riot when a gig there was cancelled due to electricity cut, the crowd from all ages got angry and assaulted the artist, then torched some shops nearby.
On Friday a local bank in Ha Tay mistook the Vietnam unit to Aus dollar, resulting in the balance of one customer jumped from 4mil VND ($250) to 48.5 bil VND (3 million dollar).
Last week, 200 girl students in a highschool in Ha Tinh have collectively fallen unconcious due to hysteria.
"20 yo kills his lover, cut the body into 6 parts, drive 300 miles and dumped it into the sea"
"Running for the river bus, one woman fell off into the Saigon river"
And lastly, neighborhood evacuated, fearing 7 storeys house will be collapsed:
I'm not joking, those are real news in Vietnam.
November 6th, 2006, 11:26 PM
Damn!! only 34 murders in Hong Kong last year? Amazing...
Anyways, some stories i can think of off the top of my head...
A man's apartment is broken into and EVERYTHING is stolen. Even the frozen peas in his refrigerator.
Crazed squirrels at a park were attacking visitors.
A woman's body was found today, stuffed in a 3 by 2 foot recycling container.
A naked man was arrested yesterday, but not before he removed an awl from his rectum.
The 49ers won a game.
November 8th, 2006, 01:31 AM
There were owls attacking women in a park in a suburb of vancouver.When I read the article for the first time I laughed so hard. The way it was described was so funny. One of the victims account went like this: " I locked eyes with it and I could tell it did not like me. It then swooped down and lifted up my hair. I screamed and had to fight it off with a stick."
November 8th, 2006, 03:31 AM
On 9/11/01, two commercial planes hit the WTC killing nearly 3,000 people.
November 15th, 2006, 01:32 AM
November 14, 2006
HONG KONG: An anonymous bidder has bought what could be the most expensive white truffle ever, paying $209,065 for a 1.5kg whopper. It was the second year in a row that a Hong Kong buyer had snapped up the top item at the annual truffle auction in Italy.
November 15th, 2006, 01:33 AM
Hong Kong snares world's most expensive truffle again
HONG KONG (AFP) - An anonymous bidder in Hong Kong has snapped up what is expected to be the most expensive white truffle ever, paying 125,000 euros (160,787 dollars) at auction for a 1.5 kilogramme whopper, sponsors said.
It was the second year in a row that a buyer from the southern Chinese city had snapped up the top item at the annual Worldwide Alba White Truffle Auction held in northern Italy.
Last year a consortium of investors paid 95,000 euros for a 1.2 kilogramme fungus. The Guinness Book of Records later confirmed it as the most valuable truffle bought at auction.
The winner this year outbid buyers from Paris, London and Grizane, in Italy, where the auction, now in its eighth year, is held.
As happened last year, the truffle will be cooked by chefs at Hong Kong's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which sponsors the city's annual bid, and served to diners at a charity dinner.
November 15th, 2006, 01:34 AM
Italian truffle fetches top price
White truffles are prized by gourmets
A truffle weighing 1.2kg (2.6lb) has sold for 95,000 euros ($112,000; £64,000) at an international charity auction in Italy.
An anonymous buyer - reportedly from Hong Kong - purchased the white truffle via satellite link-up.
A white truffle is a very rare type of mushroom that grows underground.
A 850g (1.9lb) white truffle bought for £28,000 ($50,000; 42,000 euros) last year was then said to be the world's most expensive.
That purchase ended in disaster, however.
It was bought by a syndicate from Zafferano in Knightsbridge, West London, with the proceeds going to the Children in Crisis charity.
When the head chef returned from holiday, he found that after too many days on display and in the restaurant's safe, the delicacy had been ruined.
November 15th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Some 15 or more years ago, a mentally disturbed woman, who was pregnant, cut the baby out of her stomach on the sidewalk in downtown Ithaca. I'm quite certain the baby did not survive, but she did.
A couple of years after that police responded to an apartment building for a disturbance call. The same woman attacked one of the officers and killed one of them when she stabbed him in the neck. She was shot to death by the other officer. The CBS show 60 Minutes then did a segment on how the IPD has changed their response to such calls (including barricade situations) as a direct result of that incident.
I didn't realize it was the anniversary of the officer's death. Here's a couple of articles about it:
November 18th, 2006, 05:58 PM
HK young singer, Ella Koon, was sexually harrassed back in this yr's mid-autumn festival's metro radio event by a 24 yr old male fan on stage, today he is sentenced.
WATCH THE SEXUAL HARRASSMENT INCIDENT HERE:
November 20th, 2006, 03:52 AM
Cases of toxic Eggs on sale in HK food markets:
記者再走訪灣仔及北角等地區的街市及超市，發現雞蛋主要來自美國、德國(相關新聞 - 網站)及內地，當中以北京及湖北的佔多數，而大部分有售湖北蛋的蛋商均不知悉誰是生產商。有蛋商指，湖北蛋蛋黃大、蛋白少，因此不少茶餐廳及酒樓會選用湖北蛋製作炒飯、蒸水蛋及三文治，有茶餐廳負責人稱，約十年前開始使用湖北蛋，但餐廳從不知雞蛋真正產地，他說：「蛋商只會說是『大陸』定美國蛋，蛋箱沒有說明。」而太興燒味集團董事總經理陳永安稱，今日會向採購部了解選用的雞蛋是否來自湖北及「神丹」。
November 20th, 2006, 11:58 PM
Tainted eggs not sold in Hong Kong, says official
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Eggs sold in Hong Kong are safe because none of the eggs involved in the contamination scare in the mainland has been imported into the territory, the Centre for Food Safety has assured the public.
Thomas Chung Wai-hung, the center's assistant director, said Monday 26 local samples have been collected for tests and the results are expected to be known in a few days.
"We've followed up the case with the mainland authorities and we understand that the eggs found to be tainted with the carcinogenic Sudan dye, which came from a food company in Hubei province, have not been exported to Hong Kong," Chung said.
The assurance came as the duck egg scare spread from Hubei to the southern province of Fujian, where authorities discovered 6,000 chicken eggs contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical.
Chung said the tainted eggs were from the Shendan Healthy Food Co in Hubei. "Hong Kong has been importing dyes from Hubei, but not from this company [Shendan Healthy Food]," he said.
Chung stressed there is no cause for alarm. "Based on the reported levels of the cancerous chemical detected, normal consumption of eggs would not pose any significant health risk," he said.
He added that, under the center's food surveillance program, about 740 samples were collected between January last year and September this year for various tests, but no illegal coloring substance had been detected.
However, he refused to say whether the tests covered Sudan dye contamination.
iversity of Hong Kong associate professor of biology and chemistry Cheung Hon-yeung warned that the dye in question would not only contaminate egg yolk but also the meat of chickens or ducks.
"Judging from the appearance, it's hard to tell whether eggs are contaminated with Sudan dye or not," Cheung said, adding that more tests should be carried out on eggs sold in Hong Kong to protect public health.
But a spokesman for the center said it would not conduct tests on chicken or duck meat from Hubei for the time being.
Traders in Hong Kong said eggs from Hubei are more appealing than those from Beijing, Guangzhou and the United States because of their "yellowish yolk." Eggs from Hubei are mainly supplied to local restaurants for making egg tart and bread. Some wholesalers said their business has dropped by almost half since the scare began last week.
Some traders said they were considering selling eggs imported from other countries, in which case prices would double compared with Hubei eggs, which cost about 50 HK cents to 80 HK cents each.
The scare arose after mainland reports said farmers in Hubei province had used the dye in duck feed to turn egg yolks reddish, which would command a higher price.
Amid the duck egg scare last Thursday, the Guangzhou Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau ordered a ban on the sale of fresh and salted duck eggs in markets, as well as the serving of duck eggs in restaurants.
Hubei authorities have since raided seven farms, destroying 5,000 ducks and 300 kilograms of duck eggs.
November 20th, 2006, 11:59 PM
$62m question for court in winding up dance fees case
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Asia's most renowned dancing banker, Mimi Monica Wong, may have won back her HK$62 million in prepaid dancing fees, but the legal battle is not over with a HK$4.8 million question yet to be answered: how much more would the HSBC private banking chief have earned through interest while the two- year litigation took place?
The High Court reconvened Monday to deliberate the question, and the judge has now reserved judgment on how to set the interest rate.
In September's judgment, the court set the interest rate at the prime lending rate, plus 1 percent, as is common practice with commercial cases.
But lawyers for the Latin-American teachers, Mirko Saccani and Gaynor Fairweather, are now arguing the court should reset the interest rate to that which the dancers received before the legal process concluded in Wong's favor.
According to their calculation, the dance teachers should only have to pay an interest rate of around 4 percent, which amounts to HK$4.6 million. But the court's order, as it stands, requires them to pay around HK$9.4 million.
Senior counsel for Wong, Simon Westbrook, said his client would not want to return to court to testify as to her investment skills, but made it clear it was not difficult for a woman of her standing to be given interest rates much more favorable than the normal person had she had the money in the bank.
The lawyers for both parties are using Wong's professional position to support their case. The dancers argue she would not have had to borrow money, and even if she did, it would have been at favorable rates.
The banker, on the other hand, claims she should be granted the same interest rate as that ordered for the usual commercial cases, and that had she been able to use the money for investment during the time it was withheld from her, she would have earned much more.
Senior counsel for the dancers, Russell Coleman, argued there was no evidence Wong needed to borrow money with interest during the time the money was withheld from her.
"This particular plaintiff would very unlikely have had to pay prime plus 1 percent to borrow money," Coleman said. He said the judge should bear in mind such litigation is supposed to rescind the contract and restore the parties into the state before the contract was entered.
Before the court hearings began, Saccani and Fairweather had to pay the HK$62 million into the court on September 2004, ensuring Wong would get her money back if she won.
For two years, the dancers were paid by the court the interest at a rate which hovered around 4 percent, amounting to HK$4.6 million, the sum Coleman now submits is the appropriate amount that should be paid to Wong.
Even if Wong had to borrow money, and pay interest rates, for investment in the property market for example, it was likely she would have paid the prime rate minus 2 or 3 percent rather than plus 1 [percent], given the competitive market, Coleman said.
Conversely, Westbrook argued if Wong had had the money with which to invest during those two years, she may well have earned more than the HK$9.5 million.
Deputy High Court judge Gerard Muttrie said because so much money was at stake, he would reserve judgment and make an order in due course after deliberation.
The legal dispute between the three dancing enthusiasts drew extensive media coverage in June when it was revealed Wong had paid HK$120 million for unlimited dance lessons and priority bookings for 10 years.
But in August 2004, after two humiliating public dance sessions in Li Hua restaurant during which Saccani, her dance partner, reduced her to tears with verbal abuse, Wong felt she could not continue with the relationship. She subsequently sued to have her prepaid money returned.
Wong claimed Saccani lost his temper in Li Hua when he saw another couple, made up of his wife's former champion winning dance partner and his own former student, receive greater applause. Witnesses claimed they heard him say: "If you do that again, I am going to smash [those water containers] over your f***king head," and: "If you don't get it f***king right, I'll throw you out the f***king window."
Muttrie ruled September 6 Saccani's treatment of his most valuable client "violated the mutual trust, confidence and respect" implied in a teacher- student relationship and thereby breached the contract.
November 22nd, 2006, 05:45 AM
Its bizzarre enough.
First Daughter Barbara Robbed in Argentina
November 21, 2006 3:14 PM
From Our Sources:
First Daughter Barbara Bush had her purse and cell phone stolen as she had dinner in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, even though she was being guarded by a detail of Secret Service agents, according to law enforcement reports made available to ABC News.
It was not the only mishap on the two-week trip to Argentina by Barbara (right) and her twin sister Jenna (left).
A Secret Service agent on the advance detail got into an "altercation" with someone after a night out and was badly beaten, according to the law enforcement reports. The Secret Service said today the incident was an attempted mugging that occurred while the agent was on his own time. The agent is doing fine.
The purse snatching took place on Barbara's first night in town while she was dining in the picturesque San Telmo neighborhood. According to the reports, the Secret Service agents failed to notice the incident.
The Secret Service would not comment on the purse snatching, and the First Lady’s office said they would not comment on any personal trip made by the daughters. There have been recent reports, however, that Jenna Bush has been living and working in Panama as an intern for UNICEF.
November 22nd, 2006, 07:14 PM
Overstayer fakes giving-birth to escape from police, but gets busted by medical staff whilst in hospital :
九漢接力17樓抬孕婦 停電戲劇性一幕 送院原來是犯人
November 25th, 2006, 05:23 PM
We just had a former russian spy poisoned by radioactive thallium in London.
Looks like the Russians wish to go back to the bad old days of the cold war.
(Putins never gonna leave office)
December 10th, 2008, 01:52 PM
haha, juz found a series of funny talk~
林瑞麟 "人肉錄音機" - @ 3:10minute
以其人之道還其人之身 !! - so funny - it makes the greatest soundbyte at the ending minute~
December 11th, 2008, 03:46 AM
wow so many drawings. I'm going dizzy!!! :nuts::nuts::nuts:
We just had a former russian spy poisoned by radioactive thallium in London.
Looks like the Russians wish to go back to the bad old days of the cold war.
(Putins never gonna leave office)
wow... that's really bizarre!
December 12th, 2008, 08:52 PM
I will always remember that when I first moved to London the headline of the local paper was "Evil Architect Leads Double Life" which amused me.
Another amusing/slightly sad story I read on the BBC the other day was of a man killed in the Phillapines for hogging the Karaoke machine!!!
December 13th, 2008, 08:34 AM
To me this qualifies as bizarre. Happened in a Toronto suburb last week:
Rampage at VW dealership ends with man swilling champagne on truck roof
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
December 10, 2008 at 5:13 AM EST
He was sober, drug-free, with no criminal record and he passed a late-night mental competency test.
Nor, as far as is known, had the man had any prior dealings with the target of his wrath, the Roseland Volkswagen Dealership in Burlington.
So what prompted him to drive on to the dealership lot and launch a one-man demolition derby that culminated in his standing on the roof of his truck, swilling champagne, urinating on the parked cars around him and hurling debris at an astonished tow-truck driver who happened by?
The folks at Roseland don't have the least idea. Likewise Halton Regional Police, who arrested Guillaume Mercier, 38, of Hamilton shortly before midnight on Monday and charged him with mischief and indecency.
"I'd be speculating on what the guy was going through, he just did it," said Sergeant Brian Carr.
The rampage began around 11:45 p.m., said Roseland shop manager Brett Legatt, summoned from his bed by an alarmed cleaner.
Closed-circuit video footage shows a man in a truck pulling into the dealership and methodically beginning to use his 2007 Mazda pickup as a battering ram.
In all, six vehicles parked outside the front door were damaged. First, the three on the right side. Then, after a pause, the driver took another run and attacked the rest, yelling as he did so, according to the cleaner's account.
"Then he tried to drive through the front door of the building," Mr. Legatt said. "But the truck didn't make it through the front door, it got stuck."
But the most bizarre segment of the drama came next, when the driver got out of his truck, grasping a bottle of champagne (brand unknown) and a glass and climbed on the roof.
As he started sipping what appeared to be his first drink of the evening - no discernible blood-alcohol reading showed up on a subsequent breath test - he also began urinating on the nearby cars, or at least trying to.
By now, authorities had been alerted. Also on hand was a passing tow-truck driver, at whom the man started throwing debris.
Police arrived, arrested the man and took him to a local hospital for a mental assessment to gauge whether he was in control of his faculties. Apparently he was, and he was co-operative with everyone, although he offered no explanation for his performance, Sgt. Carr said.
His truck bore Quebec licence plates, but police were able to verify that he was a Hamilton resident. So after being charged early yesterday, he was allowed to go home, with a court date set for the New Year.
Nobody is more baffled than Mr. Legatt, who estimates total damage to be between $10,000 and $15,000. Charged is Guillaume Mercier who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
It is the Champagne that is so weird.... why? :D
December 18th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Our most bizarre news lately has been all the ice storms, and huge snowstorms around the country.
Even in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and creeping very close to Los Angeles...
It happens, but very rarely. Unfortunately it's all heading towards the Midwest and Northweast right now, and it looks to be one hell of a storm. Large ice accumulations, and up to a half meter of snow.
Here's what it did in the warm weather regions...
the spliff fairy
December 18th, 2008, 08:04 PM
There are big cat sightings all over the UK, attributed to when many exotic animals were released into the wild after the Dangerous Animals Act of 1976. They have bred and are spotted, heard and even caught (the ones caught so far have been leopards, pumas, bobcats and panthers) in places like the English Moors, the Scottish Highlands, the Welsh hills, and now even London. For thirty years livestock have been killed by unknown predators all over Dartmoor, Surrey and Bodmin Moor.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 11:23 GMT
'Big cat' attacks man in garden
The victim described a "big black figure" pouncing on him
A man has been attacked by a large cat-like animal which jumped out from bushes in his garden during the night.
Anthony Holder said a 6ft-long black animal pounced, knocked him to the ground, then mauled him with its claws for about 30 seconds.
He said "I am 6ft and weigh 15 stone and it was considerably stronger and bigger than me. This thing was huge."
Police were called to Sydenham Park in south-east London and one officer saw a cat "about the size of a Labrador dog".
Armed officers arrived soon after and a search of the nearby railway line and allotments was carried out.
Mr Holder was looking for his kitten at the bottom of his garden, which backs onto woodland, when the powerful creature attacked him.
He described how a "big black figure pounced" and he was "in its claws for about 30 seconds".
"Its teeth were out and I tried to defend myself and eventually I got the thing off my body."
He was scratched all over his body and suffered swelling and bruising to his hand and the back of his head.
The animal, which Mr Holder is convinced was a panther, then went and sat in the garden next-door, and he called the police
The Metropolitan Police have mounted extra patrols in the area, which is largely residential and backs on to a railway line.
They have warned people not to approach the animal and to keep pets inside.
The RSPCA and London Zoo are being consulted for specialist advice.
Inquiries are also being made to trace exactly where the animal may have come from.
the spliff fairy
December 18th, 2008, 08:16 PM
^I know three people who have seen big cats, my English teacher who came across a puma in the woods behind her house in Ascot, a friend who saw a black panther while walking his dog in Essex, and a schoolfriend who nearly hit one as it ran into the road in Berkshire.