A senior banker who tried to leave the city with a gun via the airport was spared a jail term yesterday because of a psychological disorder that led to his obsession with firearms.
Yan Shen, 43, head of the North Asia institutional client group of Deutsche Bank, was ordered by the District Court to perform 240 hours of community service. He was also fined HK$50,000.
Judge Joseph Yau Chi-lap said he passed down the 'exceptional' sentence because of an assessment that the ' highly successful' banker has dependent personality disorder. Yan did not intend to use the pistol for illegal purposes, the judge found.
Yan earlier pleaded guilty to possession of firearms without a licence, which carries a maximum jail term of 14 years and a HK$100,000 fine.
Yan was arrested on May 18 after a pistol was discovered in his baggage during screening at Chek Lap Kok. He was on a business trip to South Korea.
Yan brought the gun to Hong Kong when he moved from the US about 20 years ago. The judge accepted that Yan's illness gave rise to his 'sentimental attachment' to firearms. He also found that Yan's possession of the gun did not pose a particular risk to society because he had been keeping it in safe custody. A report showed that the gun had not been used before.
The judge imposed a non-custodial sentence after a psychologist said any interruption in Yan's treatment would hinder his recovery from the disorder.