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Father, son escape jail term for breaching Immigration rules

21 November 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

A “lazy” son who failed to renew his dependant visa for more than three years and nearly dragged his elderly father to jail as a result, had come out lucky after a magistrate in Shatin Court decided to suspend their sentences.

Jerykson de Leon, 27, pleaded guilty on Nov 21 to a charge of breach of condition of stay and his Taiwanese father, Li Chi-hung, 67, to aiding and abetting the breach.

After convicting the two, magistrate Wong Sze-lai scolded the son for his laziness.

“You overstayed in Hong Kong. You are lazy. You are a young person, you have to work and you must not just lie idle inside the house,” Wong said, noting that De Leon had three previous criminal records.

The magistrate sentenced De Leon to 16 days, suspended for a year, for overstaying in Hong Kong for more than three years.

Li was sentenced to two months in jail, suspended for 18 months, for aiding and abetting his son’s failure to renew his visa.

In mitigation, the defense lawyer said De Leon is Li’s child with a Filipina who decided to bring the boy back to the Philippines at a young age.

In 2010, De Leon came to Hong Kong to join his father. His visa was due for renewal in February 2016 but he lost his passport and Hong Kong ID card and did not bother to get them replaced.

It was Li who went to the Philippine Consulate early this year to apply for a new passport for De Leon.

Li’s counsel said the father, a night-duty security guard, was aware of his son’s visa expiry and reminded him about it when it was time to apply for an extension.

Li reportedly gave his son $1,000 to renew his visa but the latter failed to do so because he had lost his passport and ID.

De Leon’s new passport was granted in late January this year and Li accompanied him to Immigration to surrender for having overstayed.

But Li himself was also arrested on a charge of aiding and abetting his son’s breach of his condition of stay. 

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