Disgraced school official appeals fraud conviction
A disgraced former school supervisor jailed for conning a parent into handing over HK$200,000 to help fund a merger that later failed is appealing against her conviction and prison term.
Lawyers for Carman Liang Shuk-ching, 48, argued in the Court of Appeal that her fraud conviction should be overturned because a District Court judge had relied on the evidence of an unreliable prosecution witness.
Even if her appeal against conviction was not successful, her lawyers asked that the 15-month jail term be replaced with a non-custodial sentence in recognition of her "unblemished background" and reputation as a passionate educator.
Mr Justice Wally Yeung Chun-kuen, Madam Justice Maria Yuen Ka-ning and Madam Justice Susan Kwan Shuk-hing reserved their decision.
Liang, former supervisor of the Pegasus Philip Wong Kin Hang Christian School and a Medal of Honour winner, was released on bail.
She was jailed last June after Deputy District Court Judge Don So Man-lung said the fraud involved a large amount and was a violation of integrity.
She was cleared of a second fraud charge related to another loan to the school.
Liang induced Tam Chi-shuk to pay HK$200,000 to Pegasus Social Service Christian Organisation, then the school's sponsoring body, to help fund a proposed merger of the Kwun Tong school with Sear Rogers International School.
Tam said Liang had persuaded her to grant the loan to repay debentures to parents at Sear Rogers as a precondition for the merger. In fact, the school had never granted such debentures.
Yesterday, barrister Francis Cheng, for Liang, said Tam was not a credible witness and the trial judge should not have relied on her evidence to find against his client.
Cheng said no other witness had mentioned the buying-back of the debentures. He also said Tam could not give a convincing explanation for why she delayed almost a year before chasing Liang for repayment.