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Maid who stole $79,000 worth of jewelry jailed for 24 weeks

21 April 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The West Kowloon magistrate did not give credit to the employer's plea for mercy for the former employer

A Filipina domestic helper who stole assorted jewelry valued at $79,000 from her employer has been sentenced to 24 weeks in jail by a West Kowloon magistrate, despite a plea for leniency from her former boss.

Rubelyn Nisperos, 33, also asked for a lesser penalty, but Magistrate Winnie Lau gave her only the standard 1/3 discount for pleading guilty to the offence at the sentencing today, Apr 21.

Nisperos had previously appeared before another magistrate who ordered a background report before the sentencing.

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The defense counsel, reading the background report today,  said Nisperos arrived in Hong Kong in 2016 to work as a domestic helper to earn money for her family.

He said the victim, Li Chung-yin from Cheung Sha Wan, appealed for a lenient sentence for Nisperos due to the close relationship the helper had with the employer’s family.

The magistrate said she did consider the employer’s plea, but pointed out that the theft was a serious breach of trust, having been committed inside the employer’s house.

Nisperos, who is married and has a 13-year-old daughter, said through her lawyer that she needed money for the medication of her ailing parents.
The theft was discovered by Li while she was cleaning her bedroom on Feb 2. She noticed that nine pieces of jewelry, including a diamond ring, four pairs of earrings, a gold pendant and gold bangles, were missing from her cabinet.

When the employer confronted Nisperos about this, the maid readily admitted taking the jewelry and pawning them.

The maid was arrested on Feb 2 and has been held without bail since.

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This is the second case of a Filipina helper being jailed for stealing a substantial amount from her employer in the past five days.

On Apr 16, Sheila Grace Laidan was jailed for six months by a Kowloon City magistrate for stealing nearly $90,000 worth of jewelry and cash from her employer in Ho Man Tin between December last year and January this year.

Another Filipina, Carmelita Nones, is being held in connection with the biggest theft allegation made against a foreign domestic worker in Hong Kong. She is accused of stealing more than $1 million worth of jewelry from her employer, a former top executive of New World Holdings.

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