• Thu
  • Oct 2, 2014
  • Updated: 2:23pm

Gay sex blackmailer gets jail sentence increased

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am

The Court of Appeal yesterday extended the prison sentence of a former PhD student at Chinese University jailed for attempting to blackmail a senior religious figure.

The court ruled in favour of an application brought by prosecutors against Cheung Ka-wo, an economics student originally jailed for four years, after rejecting a counter-appeal by Cheung against his conviction. It extended Cheung's sentence by 15 months. Cheung, 28, was convicted in July 2010 of conspiracy to commit blackmail by scheming with co-accused Li Dora Kay to extort more than HK$6 million from a religious leader identified in court only as X, and X's supervisor, who was identified as Y.

Cheung and Li had filmed X performing sex acts with Cheung.

Edwin Choy Wai-bond, a barrister for Cheung, argued yesterday that the Court of Appeal should quash Cheung's conviction as it was the result of negligence by his defence lawyers at the time of the original trial.

Choy said that had his client been properly advised about the adverse effect of not challenging the admissibility of a video interview with police, he would have done so.

Cheung's lawyers in the 2010 District Court trial, barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung and solicitor Ho Wai-man, who were summoned to give evidence at his appeal, said their former client had opted not to challenge the video testimony as part of an elaborate tactic to testify as a tainted witness against his co-accused.

Li, 59, was jailed in September for five years on two counts of conspiracy to commit blackmail. She had tried unsuccessfully to halt her trial on the grounds that wide media coverage would influence the judge

The first count involved the blackmail of X for HK$6 million, and the second to extort an unspecified sum from Y. The lower court heard X had paid HK$ 810,000 to Li and Cheung, none of which had been recovered.

The reasons for extending Cheung's sentence were reserved.

Court of Appeal Justice Maria Yuen Ka-ning said the court would consider increasing Cheung's sentence further if it was established he had lied during his testimony.

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