Hostess guilty of blackmail

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 December, 2007, 12:00am

Judge rejects claim that demands on senior official were a ploy

A karaoke hostess was found guilty yesterday of blackmailing a senior government official after he ended their affair in an effort to save his marriage.

Hui Wing, 36, was convicted on two counts of blackmail by District Court Judge Andrew Chan Hing-wai, who ruled that she had made unwarranted demands for HK$500,000 and HK$90,000 from the official, identified only as Mr X.

The court heard Hui had threatened to commit suicide, harm Mr X's wife, and expose their affair to the media and Mr X's superior between February 23 last year and May 12 this year, after Mr X telephoned her on the night of February 22 demanding to end their relationship because his wife had found out.

Convicting Hui yesterday, Judge Chan said the blackmail had been proved by Hui's voice messages and telephone conversations recorded by Mr X, as well as the evidence of Mrs X's elder sister - identified as Y - and a friend, L. Y and L were asked by Mr X to deal with Hui after he broke up with her.

Rejecting Hui's claim that the demands were a conspiracy between her and Mr X to try to deceive Mrs X into believing Hui would leave Mr X if money was paid, Judge Chan said it was in fact Hui's 'one-man show' plotted and acted out by herself.

The judge said he accepted the pair had developed a loving and intimate relationship after they met at a Mong Kok karaoke nightclub on October 21 last year, calling each other 'husband' and 'wife'.

'Their relationship only lasted for four months before Mr X demanded to break up all of a sudden. It should have been a serious blow to the defendant,' the judge said.

'After the break-up, in the initial stage, she craved for reconciliation and claimed that she did not want money but [wanted Mr X],' he said.

'But when she came to realise that the chance of reconciliation was getting slimmer and slimmer, she wanted money for compensation.'

Judge Chan said the fact Mr X had finally called police showed he could not have been instructing Hui to blackmail him.

As a consequence, the case had attracted extensive media coverage 'every day like a serial', and he had to come out and reveal his affair.

But Judge Chan did not fully accept Mr X's evidence, questioning the reliability of his claims that he went to the karaoke bar for the sole purpose of singing, and that he thought Hui's job was to help customers pick songs and to fix karaoke equipment. Mr X had said he went to the Mong Kok karaoke club to sing on October 21 because he was not feeling happy with his wife after he had taken her to work that morning.

'Why didn't he go home and sing at home in order to relieve his unhappiness?' asked the judge, recalling that Mr X had also told the court he sometimes sang karaoke at home.

Judge Chan also said Mr X could not have been so ignorant about the nature of Hui's job. 'They went to the love hotel after Mr X settled the bill of HK$390 at the karaoke. Mr X did not pay for the sex. It was not because Hui was too generous, or Mr X was too stingy. It was because they both knew where they stood. His purpose of going there and the nature of Hui's job are interrelated.'

Judge Chan remanded Hui to January 2 for sentencing.