A MOTHER whose two young children were found dead in a suitcase after her husband tried to kill himself remained in custody on theft charges last night after she failed to raise $10,000 bail. Chow Shuk-ying, 24, was granted bail by Magistrate Michael Hill in South Kowloon Court yesterday despite protests from the prosecution, who said the tragedy might lead Chow to harm herself. She faces three charges of stealing a total of $30,773 from her employers. Police are inquiring into a further 17 instances involving the alleged theft of $200,000. But Mr Hill, who refused bail last Tuesday because of the severity of the charges, said yesterday the mother had suffered a great loss. He agreed that because her husband was in critical condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital she would be needed to take care of her surviving three-year-old son, being looked after by his grandmother. Mr Hill was prepared to grant bail because he accepted Chow's word that she would not injure herself or her son. But he ordered that Chow pay $10,000 bail, surrender her travel documents and report to Tsim Sha Tsui police station three times a week. She will appear in court on May 16. A staff member at South Kowloon Court said an elderly man had arrived before lunch to pay the bail. He said he was a friend of Chow's but did not have enough money. 'The man claimed he would discuss the problem with his family and would come again in the afternoon,' the staff member said. No one turned up before the Account Office closed at 4 pm. Chow was returned to the Tai Lam Centre for Women. Legislative Councillor Martin Lee Chu-ming said he felt the bail might be excessive considering Chow's circumstances. 'If the defendant is a rich man or something, that is different. 'But a magistrate has a wide discretion for setting the amount. 'The main consideration is whether the person will jump bail. 'I think in a normal case it should not be set so high because if it cannot be paid, then there is no point to it. Usually the magistrate will ask whether the defendant can pay the amount. He will then use his discretion to set it.' The case came a day after business tycoon Albert Yeung Sau-shing was released for the same amount in Western Court. Yeung is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, trying to interfere with a prime prosecution witness, false imprisonment and criminal intimidation. While in custody on the theft charges, the woman heard that her 25-year-old husband, Cheng Chi-chu, had leapt from their fourth-floor flat in Yau Ma Tei and that their two young children were dead. Her husband remains in critical condition.