Plan to use toy gun misfires

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 November, 1995, 12:00am

A HUNGRY street-sleeper who planned to use a toy gun to steal money was jailed for four years yesterday.

Vegetable seller Chau Wing-keung, 35, was sacked on Christmas Day last year after quarrelling with his boss, the District Court heard. As Chau was a gambler, he had no money left and had to sleep in a park.

Prosecutor Wong Man-kit told the court that on December 26 Chau found a toy pistol in a refuse collection room where he was searching for food.

He buried the gun in a flower-bed but took it out three days later intending to commit robbery because he had no money and was hungry, the court heard.

Chau denied a charge of carrying an imitation firearm with intent to commit an arrestable offence on December 30 last year.

Judge Sweeney used five years as the starting point, but deducted a year because he thought Chau was a 'desperate man taking desperate measures'.

Duncan Percy, defending, said Chau's weapon could not have harmed anyone.

Mr Wong told the court that on December 30, two police officers saw Chau follow a woman into a lift lobby in the Lok Fu Estate.

Chau did not go into the lift but walked away, the court heard. The officers stopped him and in the ensuing struggle, he dropped the toy pistol.

Under caution, he admitted he intended to use the gun to commit robbery, the court heard.