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Filipina who stole after husband lost job in pandemic escapes jail

27 July 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap


Magistrate Ada Yim imposed a suspended sentence on the Filipina defendant

A Filipina domestic helper who admitted stealing jewelry worth some $60,000 from her employer of 12 years managed to get off lightly earlier today after Eastern Court magistrate Ada Yim heard that the defendant’s husband had become jobless due to the pandemic.

Mayflor C. Rivamonte, 41, was sentenced to two months in jail, suspended for 18 months, immediately after she pleaded guilty to theft.

This meant that she should not spend time in jail for the offence, unless she commits another one during the 18-month period.


However, she had already been in detention since her arrest on Jun 28, after prosecutors opposed granting her bail initially, calling the charges against her serious.

In appealing for a lighter sentence, her lawyer told the court that the defendant was married and had four children who all depend on her for support. Her husband who works as a painter, lost his job due to the pandemic.

Rivamonte had a clear record and did not commit any offence during the 12 years that she had worked in Hong Kong for the same employer. Thus, what she did was totally out of character.

In addition, the two rings that she had stolen out of financial need and had pawned for a total of about $7,000 had both been recovered.

In sentencing, Magistrate Yim used three months as a starting point, then reduced it by a third for her guilty plea. The decision to suspend the sentence was based on the mitigation plea by the defence lawyer.

In her first court appearance on Jun 29, Rivamonte was accused of stealing between Nov 8, 2021 and Apr 7, 2022 from her employer Luy Wing-kwan three rings, three pairs of earrings and cash totaling $10,000.

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The alleged thefts happened at Luy’s home at Tower 6 of South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong island.

The Filipina was arrested after some pawnshop receipts were found in her possession. However, during questioning by the police she admitted some, but not all the alleged thefts.


Today, the amended charge to which Rivamonte pleaded guilty said she stole two rings from her employer’s house between an unknown date in December 2021 and Apr 7, 2022. The value of the stolen items was reduced to $60,080.

The prosecution had asked for the case to be adjourned the first time it was heard in court, saying more time was needed to confer with the police and some pawnshops before the next hearing date.

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