Dizzy shopper's appeal success

A BUSINESSMAN who was fined $1,500 for forgetting to pay for goods at a supermarket had his conviction and sentence set aside yesterday after the High Court heard he was on prescribed drugs at the time.

Chu Hong-lin, 43, was found guilty of stealing six packets of peanuts, six apples, and eight pears worth a total of $196.

But his conviction was overturned on appeal when a judge heard drugs taken by Mr Chu for hypertension had made him dizzy at the time he took the food.

His barrister, Christopher Grounds, said Mr Chu's condition was such that he did not even realise he had put the items into his bag.

Mr Chu, who runs a textile business in China, was arrested after failing to pay for the goods he took from a Park'N Shop store in Times Square on January 25.

He was fined by magistrate Tong Man at Eastern Court. The magistrate did not believe his dizziness was severe enough to cause him to have taken the goods without paying.

But Mr Grounds said the magistrate had been wrong.

The court heard the businessman had been suffering from hypertension since January 1993.

He visited a doctor the day before his arrest and was prescribed three types of medicine. Experts said these drugs caused dizziness.

Mr Justice Chan allowed the appeal.