A 36-year-old father pleaded guilty in the High Court in Hong Kong on Monday to three counts of attempted murder of his three children when he tried to commit suicide by burning charcoal with them in March last year.

Cheung Chu-kong tried to kill himself and his three children aged two, four and six in their Yau Kom Tau Village flat in Tsuen Wan in the New Territories after an argument with his wife. He had been having an extramarital affair and his business was failing, the Oriental Daily reported.

The court heard that the couple had a big argument on March 20 before Cheung’s wife left the flat. The Indonesian domestic worker at the home overheard Cheung telling the eldest daughter that he would be “worshipping god” in the room that night.

He then slept with the three children in the room. At midnight, the domestic worker heard the youngest son cry so she went to Cheung’s room to take the child out.

The domestic worker recalled she smelled smoke coming from Cheung’s room but thought it was from incense. The next morning, Cheung’s wife received a call saying he had not turned up for work, the Apple Daily reported.

When she arrived at the home, the flat was filled with smoke and she called police. Officers arrived and saved Cheung and the two children with him in his room. Another child was in an adjoining bedroom with the Indonesian domestic worker.

The case was adjourned until Oct. 26 for sentencing and Cheung was remanded in custody.