Developer files writ to chase hawker out of Sha Tin plaza

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 September, 2009, 12:00am

A hawker who allegedly had a habit of trespassing inside a Sha Tin shopping centre is being sued by the developer for hurting the bottom line of the mall and its retailers, according to a writ filed this week in the High Court.

Property owner Fu Tong Investment Company and mall manager Kai Shing Management Services, both of which are subsidiaries of Sun Hung Kai Properties, are seeking compensation and injunctions after frequently finding a Kowloon man selling merchandise in common areas of New Town Plaza without permission, the writ says.

The hawker is named in the writ as Yu Kwok-sheung of Tai Kok Tsui.

The plaintiffs claim his activities blocked access and escape routes, and his conduct interfered with normal mall operations.

Yu was spotted around the shopping centre on seven occasions from August 2007 to February this year, the writ says. Each time, he was asked to leave by management representatives, but Yu apparently kept showing up.

'Unless [Yu] be restrained by the order of this honourable court, the defendant will still continue to trespass New Town Plaza,' it says.

The plaintiffs also contend that Yu's activities caused them to suffer damage and numerous losses.

His conduct not only caused the plaintiffs to hire more staff and install additional closed-circuit-television surveillance, the writ says, but his behaviour harmed New Town Plaza's reputation as 'a first-class' outlet and hurt lawful retail operations inside the mall.

Additionally, because of Yu's alleged behaviour, 'the registered owner is not in the position to ask for the market rent which they should have been entitled to'.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for trespass and nuisance, plus interest, costs and other forms of relief. They are also asking for injunctions preventing Yu from entering New Town Plaza and its properties, and from causing a nuisance there, the writ says.

Li Kit-wai, a solicitor for the plaintiffs, said Yu was never arrested during or after the mall incidents, but his conduct had been noted by the local police.

It was believed Yu, who might have been selling women's clothing around the mall, had not retained legal counsel, Li said.

A spokeswoman for New Town Plaza would not comment further on the case 'because it has entered into legal proceedings'.

The Post was unable to contact Yu.