Jail term upheld for Bossini heiress kidnapper due to his role in ‘joint criminal enterprise’
Zheng Xingwang, who was jailed for 12 years, argued his jail term was excessive as he had only provided “logistical support” for the kidnapping
The Court of Appeal rejected a bid by a member of the gang that kidnapped Queenie Rosita Law to have his jail sentence reduced as a judge ruled his “logistical support” for the crime did not diminish his responsibility.
Zheng Xingwang, who was jailed for 12 years, argued that his jail term was excessive and that he had not threatened to use force against the victim at any time.
Zheng was jailed in June last year after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping the heiress to Bossini, a Hong Kong-listed apparel chain which runs stores across the globe including in South East Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Greater China regions.
Appealing his sentence, Zheng argued that despite taking part in the plot, he was not involved in using any force during the four days Law was detained by his armed partners in crime. He claimed he was in charge of delivering food and certain items.
But Mr Justice Ian McWalters, who heard Zheng’s appeal with Mr Justice Jeremy Poon, rejected Zheng’s suggestion on Monday in a written judgment, saying that he should be sentenced based on what his accomplices had done as part of the “joint enterprise”.
“His personal culpability has to be adjudged in the context of being involved in a joint enterprise crime in which threat of force and the application of it would inevitably be necessary in order to make Miss Law ... compliant,” Mr Justice McWalters wrote.
The judge also reiterated the seriousness of the abduction, which the sentencing judge Kevin Zervos earlier called a “very serious case of kidnapping”.
“To say that this [was] a carefully planned and executed kidnapping is, if anything, an understatement,” he said. “The gang had purchased insider information about the home and the Law family and kept the home under surveillance.”
The psychological trauma – caused by four days of detention during which the heiress feared for her life – was “incalculable” for Law and her family, the justice said.
Zheng was a member of the gang which abducted Law in April 2015 for a HK$28 million ransom.
The kidnap, which rocked the city, saw Law being snatched from her Sai Kung mansion and taken blindfolded to a remote hillside cave where she was held for four days.
Law, the granddaughter of Bossini founder Law Ting-pong, was released after the ransom money was paid, sparking a massive manhunt by police across the city.
Zheng was arrested in May, 2015, as he tried to leave Hong Kong for Shenzhen at the Lo Wu immigration checkpoint.
Zheng claimed he received HK$3,000 for delivering food and buying mobile phones for the rest of the gang and said he had no knowledge of the kidnapping. But his fingerprints were found on the ransom money.
Nine other members of the gang were tried in Shenzhen.
The gang’s ringleader, You Dunkui was jailed for 15 years by the Shenzhen Intermediate Court in July and fined 100,000 yuan. Five others were jailed for at least 10 years.