Teen robbers deserve a chance, court rules

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2006, 12:00am

A District Court judge yesterday imposed a rehabilitation order on four teenagers who admitted robbing three victims, saying they deserved a chance to get their lives back on the right track.

Ta Chung-lam, 17, Yau Kin-chiu, 16, and two 15-year-old boys who cannot be named were sent to a rehabilitation centre after they pleaded guilty to three charges of robbery.

District Court Judge Chua Fi-lan heard that the four committed the first robbery on May 6.

They had confronted an 18-year-old youth outside a shop in a mall in Fanling and snatched his portable game device.

On May 10 Ta and Yau stole a mobile phone from an 18-year-old girl in Sheung Shui.

On May 12 Ta, Yau and a third defendant approached a 23-year-old woman from behind at a bus stop in Fanling and told her she might have dropped something on the ground.

The defendants snatched her mobile phone as she bent down to check if she really had dropped something.

The court was told that the defendants had shared the proceeds of the robberies after they had sold the portable game device and mobile phones.

The total value of the property involved was HK$5,900, the court heard.

Solicitor John Ip, for Ta and Yau, said his clients had been schoolmates in Bethel High School.

Mr Ip said they had not completed Form Five at the school, but they were both enrolled at the Hong Kong School of Commerce for a diploma course in accounting and an intensive English course. He said the semester had begun on September 4.

Passing sentence, Judge Chua suggested that Mr Ip approach the college to see if it would allow them to continue their studies after release.

'You have to work very hard' in the rehabilitation centre, she told the youths.