A Filipino charged with handling stolen goods was fined by an Eastern Magistracy judge on Mar. 28.
It was apparently the sentence that Mark A. B. was hoping for as he repeatedly bowed to Deputy Magistrate Winston Leung Wing-chung and said “thank you”, when the judge ordered that the defendant pay $600 instead of serving time in jail.
Mark was charged with receiving two boxes of chocolates that were allegedly stolen from a Wellcome Supermarket in North Point on Dec. 14, 2016.
Two police officers saw Mark acting suspiciously in the vicinity near the supermarket at around 2:10 p.m.
The other defendant in the case was charged of stealing the goods and passing them on to Mark. The first defendant was fined $1,000.
Judge Leung noted the first defendant was imposed a fine, and Mark had been in custody since Mar. 15.
“That is sufficient punishment for you,” said Judge Leung.
Mark, who is a Hong Kong permanent resident and came here when he was six years old, was given seven days to pay the fine.
“You live in Hong Kong, try to behave yourself,” said Judge Leung after the prosecutor informed him that Mark had seven previous convictions, one of which was related to dishonesty.
In a previous hearing in another court at the Eastern Magistracy, Mark threatened to kill himself, when the judge said he should be sent to jail for failing to pay the fine within the prescribed period.
Mark on Mar. 16 was first bought to Court 1 for a fresh case of handling stolen goods” against him.
He was arrested on Mar. 15 for another theft case.
Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai of Eastern Magistracy asked the prosecutor why Mark was still at large as there was a standing arrest warrant against him. The prosecutor said Mark was granted police bail.
The defendant’s duty lawyer asked the court to grant Mark bail. Judge Chainrai denied the defendant’s bail application.
The defendant was then brought to Court 7.
Judge Jason Wan Siu-ming asked Mark why he was unable to pay the original $5,000-fine imposed on him.
The defendant then said he was unemployed and under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme.
Judge Wan said it was the same thing that Mark told him during the last time the latter was in court. When the magistrate said that instead of paying the fine of $8,000, Mark should be sent to prison, the defendant became emotional.
“Probably I will just kill myself,” said Mark. The magistrate then paused and asked the defendant to “calm down”.
“I will give you last chance to pay the fine. You’re given two months to pay,” said Judge Wan.