A robber who took a woman hostage and shot at police has had his sentence reduced by three years because police lost a file of evidence. Jewel thief Wu Ngan-hang was tried and convicted for a $1.3 million robbery in 1993 and sentenced to 17 years in prison. But the police lost the file which linked him through palm prints to a $4.4 million copy-cat robbery. The sloppy police work meant Wu, 36, waited three years until the file was found and his case could be taken to court. He was sentenced on February 2 to another 17 years in prison. The two terms run concurrently. But Wu argued he will have to serve 20 years in prison because the second sentence started three years later than the first. Mr Justice Barry Mortimer agreed with Wu, who represented himself. The judge called the lost file 'an administrative error' and said Wu should not be punished for this. He reduced the second sentence to 14 years. The jewellery store raid netted Wu $4.4 million when he and two accomplices raided a Causeway Bay gold shop on February 24, 1992. The trio took a female customer hostage and fled as police chased them. Shots were exchanged at a police ambush at Victoria Park and the trio fled, leaving the loot behind, the court heard. The appeal was heard before Chief Justice Sir Ti Liang Yang, Mr Justice Power and Mr Justice Mortimer.