Failed thief gets jail wish

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 March, 2007, 12:00am

A middle-aged man who begged police to arrest him after making several robbery attempts at a KCR West Rail station was jailed for 21/2 years yesterday.

Leung Wai-him, 41, was sentenced in the District Court on three counts of attempted robbery and intent to possess a firearm. He had pleaded guilty to the charges.

The court heard that Leung, who was unarmed at the time, tried to commit robbery on the night of January 1 because he owed HK$300,000 and wanted to go to prison.

His first attempt was at the ticketing office at Long Ping station. When that failed, he tried to snatch a passenger's handbag and another's money at an ATM. He was foiled and arrested. He had tried to grab a policeman's gun.

In sentencing, Deputy District Judge Timothy Casewell said psychological and psychiatric reports showed Leung committed the offence in a hysterical manner and he was depressed. He owed a large sum of money and his marriage was breaking up.

The judge also said the victims did not lose any money and were not injured. But attempted robbery could cause distress to victims as force was used in the offence, so imprisonment was appropriate.