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Filipina denies stealing $1k from barrister-employer

30 November 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

The magistrate has reserved her judgment to Dec 12

A Filipina domestic worker has said she will not risk losing her job for just $1,000.

Lady Lynne Robinion said this when she testified in her defense on the third and last day of her trial at Eastern Court on Nov. 29.

Magistrate Vivian Wong adjourned the case for sentencing on Dec 12.

Robinion is accused of stealing the $1,000 she used to top up her Alipay account on the day the same amount went missing from a locked money box in the room she shared with fellow helper Rose Suarez.

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The money in the box was reportedly given to Suarez for safekeeping by their female employer, barrister Joey Yung.

Robinion claimed she borrowed the $1,000 from Suarez, but the other maid denied this.

The defendant’s lawyer said the case was a frame-up but the prosecution countered there was no reason why Suarez would do this.

At one point during her testimony, Robinion defiantly told the prosecutor he was trying to confuse her when he kept asking whether she knew why the police arrived in the house on the evening of Jul 30 this year.

When the lawyer asked her if she was nervous when she saw the police, she said she wasn’t because she knew she did not do anything wrong.

“No, I wasn’t nervous,” she replied. “When the police arrived I didn’t think of anything because I knew my employers were a lawyer and a judge and knew what they’re doing.”  

The prosecutor insisted she knew money was missing from the house and that the $1,000 top-up she made in her Alipay account earlier that day could be the stolen money.

When the lawyer asked if she was scared when the police arrested her, she said she was naturally afraid because she might lose her job and she had children to support.

“For just $1,000 I would not sacrifice my job, not even for $1 million,” she said.

Then she burst into tears, saying she was doing everything to try to fend for her children and that so many had been going through her mind since this case began.

Magistrate Wong called for a 10-minute recess to give her time calm down.

In summing up the case, the prosecutor challenged Robinion’s claim that his relationship with his employers was good because, if so, she would have just borrowed money from them instead of from Suarez.

He also said she had no reason to borrow money from Suarez at the time, and Suarez had no reason to lend her money because Robinion herself said their relationship was bad.

For her part, the defense counsel said Robinion was not aware of the alleged theft until she was arrested. She said the theft charge was an offshoot of differences between the two helpers.

She also disputed Suarez’s claim that she had not lent the defendant any money, saying  Robinion borrowed $1,200 from her once, and on another occasion, $100.

Robinion was hired in March 2018 to cook, clean the house and look after Yuen’s young daughter while Suarez focused on the employer’s 6-year-old boy ward. 

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