Probation for pupil who stole wallet


A secondary school pupil who stole another pupil’s wallet while the two were sitting their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams earlier this year was given a probation order on Wednesday.

Ho Cheng-man, 18, who had pleaded guilty to theft, was given a year’s probation order at the Shatin Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Ho suffered from hyperactivity disorder. Her father had passed away and her mother was on social security assistance. She did not have a job and would be starting a Project Yi Jin continuing education course later.

“The sentence is lenient as this is your first offence, but the crime is serious as compared with shoplifting,” Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma Hon-cheung told Ho.

The court heard that during the HKDSE’s English listening and integrated skills exam on March 31, Ho, who was at the examination centre in Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School in Shatin, stole the wallet of a boy sitting in front of her from under his chair.

She shifted the wallet towards her with her foot and knelt down to pick it up while the exam papers were being collected.

The boy later reported his wallet as missing and police checked CCTV records. Another student sitting beside the two witnessed the crime.

The court ordered Ho to repay HK$1,900 to the boy within six months.

She said on Wednesday and during the previous hearing that she was unable to repay the money immediately.

The court directed that Ho seek specialist treatment for her emotional problems. Her daily life, school and work would be monitored by a probation officer, Ma said.

Ho was not represented by a lawyer and attended the hearing alone on Wednesday. Her mother was not feeling well and her older brother was not at home, she said.