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Employer gives impassioned defense of maid on illegal work charge

04 March 2019

Magistrate was not moved by employer's plea
By Vir B. Lumicao

A local man who was co-defendant of a Filipina helper accused of breaching her condition of stay by managing a guesthouse in Causeway Bay questioned a judge at Eastern Court why his maid was charged for his own mistake.

But the impassioned plea of Tse Wing-leung was cut short by Magistrate Peter Law, who warned the employer that since the case would go to trial, the latter had better discuss his views with his lawyer.

Tse and his domestic helper, Pamela Mae Soriano, both pleaded not guilty on Mar 4 to a charge of operating the guesthouse.
Prosecutors filed two counts of breach of condition of stay and one count of managing a guesthouse without a license against Soriano.

But Tse, who owns the guesthouse, was only charged with managing it without a license.

The prosecution charged that between May 2 and 3 last year, Soriano breached her condition of stay as Tse’s domestic helper by managing the inn on Hysan Ave. She allegedly committed the same offense on Jul 11 last year.
The third charge stated that Soriano managed the guesthouse without a license.

The Filipina had been under Tse’s employ since April 2015.

After asking the magistrate for 30 seconds to make a statement, Tse launched his impassioned appeal for Soriano. “I made the mistake here, but they charged her,” Tse said, referring to Soriano.
“She is only my employee. I have the responsibility over Pamela. You can charge me, you can brand me, you can even punish me. But never charge Pamela because she is stressed,” the employer said in fluent English.

He said the helper’s father passed away recently, and she is now left to provide for her mother and a 5-year-old daughter.

But Law stopped him there.

“She has a lawyer, a professional lawyer. If you have to say something that is not right or may even damage her situation, better be careful,” Law warned Tse.

Law set the trial for Apr 24-25 and told Tse to submit all his documentary evidence to the court before Apr 10.

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