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Pinay resident gets 20 days in prison for shop theft

06 March 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Filipina defendant pleaded guilty to theft at Fanling Court

A Filipina resident of Hong Kong has been sentenced to 20 days in jail after admitting she stole more than $2,000 worth of goods from a fashion store in Central.

S. Coronel, a renovation decorator, pleaded guilty to one count of theft before Fan Ling Magistrate Don So on Friday, Mar 6. 

It was her second prosecution for shop theft since she was convicted of a similar offence in December last year.
The prosecution said Coronel went to the Marks & Spencer store on Queen’s Road Central on the evening of Feb 21 and took a pair of black sunglasses, a pair of black leather boots and a black hat. The three items were worth a total of $2,147.

She put the items in her shopping bag, unaware that she was being watched by a store staff, the prosecution said.


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The defendant then walked to the exit without paying for the goods, but the staff followed her and intercepted her outside the store.

When the staff checked her bag, she found the unpaid goods inside, the prosecution said.

The defendant claimed she only forgot to pay for the items.

The staff called the police and she was arrested. Police later searched her room at Grand City Hotel in Sai Ying Pun but did not find other stolen items.

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The prosecution said the defendant had three previous convictions, all similar shop theft offenses.     

In mitigation, her counsel from the Duty Lawyer Service said Coronel, who was earning $7,000-8,000 a month, is a divorcee with two daughters. She is supporting her younger daughter in the Philippines, the lawyer said.

The lawyer requested for a lenient sentence, saying that his client had not wasted court time by pleading guilty. He said Coronel wanted to go back home after serving out her sentence. 

Magistrate So ordered Coronel to spend 20 days in jail, discounted for her guilty plea.

On Dec 3 last year, the woman was fined $1,000 and jailed 14 days after she pleaded guilty in Eastern Court to three counts of theft, two of which she committed while on bail for the first offense.

But she was immediately released because she had spent enough time in remand since her arrest on Nov 6 for the second and third offenses.
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