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Filipina torture claimant, jobless Indian resident held for alleged burglary

20 May 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Wanchai building where the alleged burglary happened

A Filipina recognizance form holder and an Indian male resident were charged with burglary in a building in Wan Chai when they appeared in court today, May 20.

The Indian defendant was charged in Eastern Court with a second count of burglary for allegedly trespassing into a part of the building two days after the alleged first offence on May 9,  with intent to steal.


Leah San Esteban, 41; and Maninder Singh Maria, 34, appeared before Magistrate Peter Law who rejected their bail applications.

No plea was taken from either defendant.

The magistrate adjourned the case until July 15 to allow the prosecution to obtain CCTV footages of the alleged break-ins and obtain legal advice.

Pindutin para sa detalye

According to the charge sheet, Maria and San Esteban trespassed into the ground floor of 287 Hennessy Road in Wanchai “with intent to do unlawful damage to anything therein.”

Maria returned on May 11 and allegedly broke into the first floor of the same building with intent to steal, the prosecution said.

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The prosecutor said Maria, a permanent resident relying on social security, had six previous cases including three burglary and one robbery offenses.

He committed the present case while he has yet another burglary case pending in court and being on police bail for two theft cases, the prosecutor said.


His lawyer said Maria was offering $10,000 for his temporary release and his father, who was in the courtroom, was willing to put up another $10,000 as surety.

As for San Esteban, the prosecutor said she came to Hong Kong as a visitor nine years ago and is a recognizance paper holder, meaning she is fighting deportation back to the Philippines.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Her duty lawyer said she was offering to post $10,000 bail so she could take care of her 8-year-old daughter who is in Hong Kong.

Magistrate Law rejected both defendants’ bail officer, saying Maria could re-offend, as his record shows, while San Esteban has no local ties. He ordered them back into custody. 



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