THREE cheeky criminals got more than they bargained for yesterday when they tried to persuade a judge they were victims of miscarriages of justice. The burglar, pickpocket and would-be thief, hoped they would be freed from their prison sentences on appeal in the High Court. But two of them had been caught red-handed and the third had confessed. Mr Justice Duffy ordered their jail terms to be increased after rejecting the appeals as impertinent and without merit. Chan Tsun-man, 28, was spotted by a woman walking into her flat and taking off with her handbag. She chased him and called out to her husband who caught him. Chan told Mr Justice Duffy it was a case of mistaken identity. He said he had been at the premises because he wanted to rent a flat. He saw the woman chasing another person. But then she accused him of being the intruder. The judge said Chan had two previous convictions for burglary and one for attempted burglary. He had also previously been sentenced for indecent assault. 'There is absolutely no merit whatsoever in this appeal. It is an impertinence,' the judge told Chan. The burglar had been sentenced to 21/2 years' jail by magistrate Michael Hill at South Kowloon Court on May 29. Chan argued that the normal sentence for such an offence was between six and nine months. But Mr Justice Duffy said the sentence was 'not a day too long for what you did', and increased it to two years and nine months. In the second case, Liu Chung-yuen, 40, was told by the judge he had been part of a classic pickpocketing operation. Liu's wife took a wallet from an Australian tourist who was shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui. She handed it to Lui who passed it on to a third member of the gang. They were being watched by police at the time and were arrested. Liu repeatedly protested his innocence before the judge and even had to be dragged to the cells. 'I did not do it. I know nothing about it,' he said. But Mr Justice Duffy pointed out that Liu had six previous convictions for theft. He said: 'This is another appeal which is completely without merit.' The judge told Liu: 'People like you do terrible things to Hong Kong's reputation. Tourists who have their pockets picked are very unimpressed with a city like Hong Kong.' Liu was jailed for 14 months by magistrate Henry Brazier at South Kowloon Court on November 21. Mr Justice Duffy raised the sentence to 18 months. The next appeal was by Ho Ching-kwok, 46, who was caught by police with a 45-centimetre piece of wire shaped into a hook. 'You were going to use it to put into people's windows and pull out their belongings, as you explained to the police officers who arrested you,' said the judge. Ho, sentenced at North Kowloon Court on December 22, argued that he had been incorrectly convicted. The judge increased his jail sentence from four months to six months, saying: 'Don't come to court with unmeritorious appeals and waste the court's time.'