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Filipino jailed 19 months for burglary

10 March 2023

The case was heard at the District Court in Wanchai

A Filipino resident who admitted entering a shop in Causeway Bay and taking a safe, $58,000 in cash and three mobile phones, was sentenced today in the District Court to 19 months in jail for burglary.

Manuel Sy Jr., 38 years old, was jailed along with Alexander O’Neill, a Briton who was sentenced to 12 months for handling stolen property.


Deputy District Judge Jocelyn Leung noted that Sy had three earlier convictions, having been fined $1,000 for shoplifting in March 2018, jailed 2 weeks for shoplifting in July 2018, and jailed two years and two months for burglary on 14 May 2019.

"In my view, D1’s remorse is highly questionable. He committed a similar offence within a short period of time," she said in her decision released today.

Press caption for details

Sy had pleaded guilty last Jan. 7 and offered to testify against O’Neill, both of which were acknowledged by Judge Leung by reducing by 42 per cent the 33 months which she set as starting point for the sentence.

But she set aside other points in his lawyer’s plea for a lighter sentence.

Pindutin para sa detalye

“It was submitted by his counsel that D1 was remorseful for committing the present offence. He was unemployed at the time of the offence and had the urgency to financially provide for his three children. He worked very hard at his last job and intends to ask his previous employer to hire him and hopes that he does, so that he can make a fresh start to life,” she noted.

She also cited Sy’s letter expressing his remorse. “He mentioned that he committed the present offence out of economic reason i.e. to make provision for his children in the Philippines. He said that during his remand, he has taken steps to rehabilitate by following religion practice and has shown determination to improve his behavior. He promised not to commit any further crime and asked for the Court’s leniency.”


But Sy’s “personal circumstances do not constitute any valid grounds for reduction in the sentence,” she said.

The case arose after Sy and a man he identified as Cloyd entered a ground floor unit shop inside the Haven Court on Leighton Road in Causeway Bay (“the Shop”) at 4am on June 26, 2021 and stole one safe, cash of $58,000 and three mobile phones.


Sy had claimed that Cloyd, who was not charged in this case, used a tool to cut the lock of the shop and he was very scared so he stepped back.

Judge Leung recounted: “Cloyd then entered the shop and asked him to enter as well. After entering the shop, Cloyd passed him an object similar to the shape of a microwave oven. The object was heavy. They then left the Shop.”

Pindutin para sa detalye!

The CCTV recorded the two as they left the shop, with Sy carrying the safe.

O’Neill, who pleaded not guilty, got involved in the case when he accompanied the two an hour later to a buyer named Howard.

“In my opinion, D2’s handling provided an opportune and convenient assistance to D1 and Cloyd in the burglary,” the judge said.

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