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Overstayer lived on dole for 22 years

22 March 2017

A former domestic helper who remained illegally in Hong Kong for 21 and a half years was sentenced to 12 months in prison in Shatin Court on Mar 6 after pleading guilty to a charge of breach of condition of stay.

Maria Celestina Antiporda, 56, admitted her offense before Magistrate Ivy Chui, who gave her a one-third discount from 18 months for her guilty plea.

Antiporda was stopped by police during a street check in an undisclosed place on Feb 26 and placed under arrest after she was found to have overstayed her visa.

Prosecutikon said she was issued a work visa that was valid until Aug 4, 1995, but she stayed on after her contract was terminated before her visa expired.

In mitigation, the defense counsel said Antiporda decided to overstay because she had to earn money for her family back in the Philippines. During her illicit stay, she reportedly survived on food and money given by friends.

Another former helper, Isabel Ticuala, appeared before Chui for a mention of her “breach of condition of stay” charge, but the prosecutors applied for a three-month adjournment as they awaited the results of her torture claim appeal.

The magistrate adjourned the case until June 6.- Vir B. Lumicao

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