Lo Wai Ming, Billy



H H Judge S D’Almada Remedios


27 August 2010 at 11.56 am


Ms Lisa Go, PP, of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Ms Lau Yi-mei, Wendy, of Messrs Yuen & Partners, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant


(1) Burglary(入屋犯法罪)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary, contrary to section 11(1)(b) and (4) of the Theft Ordinance. You admitted that on 12 December 2009 in Hong Kong that you entered as a trespasser a flat at Flat D, 4th Floor, Po On Building,Nos. 2 to 6, Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, and stole cash of HK$22,500 and cash of RMB8,000.

2. On the day in question, the tenant, PW1, Ms Yip, had left home at about 8 pm but did not close the door properly. When she returnedhome about 2½ hours later, she found her home had been ransacked. Upon checking she discovered the Hong Kong dollars and the Renminbias stated in the charge was stolen. Of the cash stolen HK$500 was kept in a red-coloured paper box. This box was found to have beentaken out from the cupboard and placed on the sofa in the living room. Upon examination by the police, your fingerprints were foundon the red coloured box. You were then put on the watch list and half a year later, on 11 June 2010, you were intercepted by theImmigration at Lo Wu when you tried to depart for the mainland. You were arrested and remained silent under caution.

3. Ms Yip did not know you and she had been living there at those premises with her husband since 1984.

4. Ms Wendy Lau, your solicitor, has made very full and frank mitigation on your behalf. I have also had read to me your very detailedletter expressing your remorse and the reasons why you have committed this offence. You are aged 39 and have been before the courtson 17 different occasions and have three previous burglary similar convictions. The first two of those were in 1993 and your lastconviction before the courts was also for burglary and for that you were sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment on 2 January 2009.You were released from prison on 14 October 2009, so almost two months after you were released from prison you committed a similaroffence of burglary. You said the reason for your so doing was because it was an opportune moment when you went to that particularbuilding to find a bonesetter clinic but got off on the wrong floor and by chance found the door of these premises was not properlyclosed and therefore you went in and found nobody home and therefore out of greed you stole the cash from the premises.

5. You resorted to crime because you had been unemployed, you had difficulty finding employment because of your low education, lackof skills and you had a wife and young child of 4 years old to maintain and also funeral expenses for your mother to pay off. Youhave said you did not go equipped to burgle but it was an offence committed on impulse.

6. The only mitigation advanced on your behalf today is of course your plea of guilty. As you rightly say, I am sure the victims arebadly hurt by having $30,000 stolen from them. Though you have in your letter offered to repay the victims some 10 per cent slowlywhen you are released from prison, I do not think that there is any reality in that. That is a significant amount of money.

7. As I said, your greatest plea in mitigation is your plea of guilty, you have saved the court’s time. As I am sure you are wellaware and as your solicitor, Ms Lau, has told me she has advised you of the guidelines for domestic burglary. If I had convictedyou after trial, a sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment would have been appropriate, however given your plea of guilty I give youfull credit and reduce that term to one of 2 years’ imprisonment to which you are so sentenced.

(S. D’Almada Remedios)
District Judge