CORRUPT civil servant Clive Holgate yesterday lost his bid for freedom. Mr Justice Mayo rejected the former surveyor's application to be released on bail pending his appeal. Earlier this month, the former surveyor was found guilty of maintaining a standard of living $1.5 million beyond his legitimate earnings and sentenced to two years in prison. Holgate, 53, had not had an easy time in jail, a source close to him said yesterday. A smoker, he has been forced to abandon his habit. And ever since prison authorities confiscated his reading glasses, he has been unable to enjoy one of his favourite hobbies - crossword puzzles. Each prisoner is permitted only one pair of spectacles, but Holgate's vision problem requires two. Defence lawyer Alexander King plans to appeal against conviction and sentence. The defence claimed the District Court judge applied the wrong burden of proof when convicting the former civil servant. He concluded Holgate was 'more than likely' to have committed the offence, rather than 'more likely than not'. The defence argued that Judge Surman implied he was not satisfied with the financial evidence 'beyond reasonable doubt' when he said he was satisfied 'on the face of the figures'. And the absence of Pauline Holgate had seriously prejudiced her husband's case, they argued. In a trial that enthralled Hong Kong, Mr King described Holgate's sham marriage to a gambling hostess. Pauline Holgate vanished three years ago, and has not been seen or heard from since. Holgate told the court his wife had dumped more than $1 million in his accounts before she disappeared. He claimed to have found another $300,000 hidden in her handbag and underwear drawer. But Judge Surman rejected Holgate's story and accepted prosecutor Bernard Ryan's explanation: that the money came from corrupt payments. Holgate's bail application was rejected by Mr Justice Mayo during a High Court hearing held in Chambers.