Neighbourhood Sounds

Characters who have spent time in Stanley prison

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 December, 2012, 3:50am

Out on a bluff just 20 minutes' walk from the tourist hordes of Stanley Market, sits Stanley Prison - home to some of the city's most colourful criminals.

The Gangster: Yip Kai-foon "Teeth Dog"

Once Hong Kong's most wanted man, Yip gained notoriety for robbing jewellery stores. In several 1990s robberies, his gang sprayed bullets from AK-47s as they fled. Shot in the spine during a shootout with police, he is now confined to a wheelchair and is serving a 36-year sentence in Stanley Prison.

Most Litigious: Brian Hall

Brian Hall, John Asante or Albert Hall Brain - or whatever he chooses his name to be today - is the prison's most vexatious litigant. A cocaine smuggler serving an 18-year sentence, he has launched over 100 lawsuits since he was arrested in 1997, carrying 873g of cocaine. Over the years he has complained to prison staff about not having access to a Swiss brand of body lotion, Bob Marley tapes (which supposedly form part of his Rastafarian religion) and the right to have his own hair trimmer. He was declared a "vexatious litigant" in 2008 and banned from taking any legal action without leave from the Court of First Instance.

The White Collar Criminal: John Hung

A fourth-generation Hongkonger of Scottish and Chinese ancestry, Hung was one of the city's most recognised taipans, winning a Silver Bauhinia Star in 1999. He was jailed for 16 months in July 2009, for accepting a bribe to help with a membership application. He insists he is innocent. Hung, 71 when arrested, describes prison life as hot and gruelling for older prisoners, but said he proved a hit in prison when other inmates found he was fluent in Cantonese and could "swear with aplomb". "I remember referring to other people's mothers every five minutes," he said. "That was appreciated by everyone."