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Overstayed son, abetting mom get suspended jail sentences

20 March 2019

Shatin Court


A Filipino youth and his Hong Kong resident mother have been sentenced in Shatin Court to 16 days in jail, suspended for a year, after admitting guilt for two immigration offenses.

The son, Kei Romar Herrero pleaded guilty to a charge of “breach of condition of stay” for overstaying his visitor visa for eight months.

His mother, Ma Jeminni H. Schneider, pleaded guilty to “aiding, abetting, counseling or procuring the breach of condition of stay”.

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The two, who were out on bail, appeared before Magistrate Winnie Lau on Mar 20 for their scheduled plea-taking. 

Herrero, a Philippine-born son of Schneider, arrived in Hong Kong on a visitor visa on Mar 30 last year and was allowed to stay until Apr 13. But the youth did not go home when his visa expired.

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On Dec 27, Schneider accompanied Herrero to the Immigration Department to apply for a visa extension but officers there discovered that he had overstayed by eight months and arrested him.

On Jan 11, Schneider was also arrested for not reporting that her son had overstayed, the prosecution said.

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Their defense lawyer appealed for a lenient sentence, saying that both mother and son had not seen each other for several years.

Magistrate Lau said that having lived in Hong Kong for many years, the mother should have been aware that the law does not condone overstayers.

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She said she considered the pair’s guilty plea and handed them both a discounted sentence of 16 days in prison suspended for 12 months.

If during the next 12 months they commit any offense, their current sentence will be added to the sentence for their new offense, the magistrate said.   

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