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Pinay in shop theft escapes jail under bind-over deal

24 May 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina domestic worker charged with stealing three pieces of chicken from a shop was bound over for $1,000 for 24 months by a Kwun Tong court on May 4.

The order allowed Helen Macaranas to escape criminal conviction although she had pleaded guilty to the charge.

Magistrate Ernest Lin also told her to pay the court cost of $1,000.

The bind-over deal was worked out by the prosecution and defense lawyers before hearing started. It means that the Filipina could still work in Hong Kong as she will have no criminal record on file.

Macaranas had been in jail for three weeks before she was set free as she did not have the money needed for her temporary liberty, and provide the court with an address in Hong Kong.

Lin allowed her bail only after the Consulate agreed to provide her shelter, and the Mission for Migrant Workers put up the bail money.

Under the bind-over deal, Macaranas must not commit any offense in Hong Kong within the next two years; otherwise she would be required to pay the $1,000 guarantee in addition to the penalty for the new offense.

Macaranas was arrested on Apr 3 after she failed to pay for three pieces of whole dressed chicken she had put in her recyclable bag while shopping at Aeon supermarket in Tseung Kwan O.

She told The SUN she forgot to pay for the chickens along with the other items that she had bought.

As soon as she stepped away from the counter, supermarket staff stopped her, checked her bag then called the police.

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