A lorry driver convicted of attempted smuggling after goods were loaded onto his truck without his knowledge is planning to take his case to the Privy Council. The prosecution accepted Lei Sou-wa, 41, had no idea there was 'unmanifested cargo' on his lorry as he drove towards the border. But the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the Crown did not have to prove knowledge of guilt to secure a conviction. John Haynes, for Lei, said the man in the street would regard Lei as innocent. 'No citizen should be exposed to the risk of imprisonment if his state of mind is oblivious to any mischief,' he said. He argued that the way in which the law was being interpreted amounted to 'the state preying on its own subjects'. Concern over border crime sometimes led to the law in this area being applied more harshly, Mr Haynes added. The injustice was that Lei had been convicted of an offence which he did not even know he was committing. When Customs officers searched his lorry they found parts for photocopiers, air-conditioners and ventilators stashed among his legitimate cargo. The court heard the contraband goods, worth about $200,000, had been loaded onto the truck by others while Lei was taking a lunch break. During his trial at Fanling Court, Lei put forward a defence that he had taken reasonable steps to ensure he was not carrying contraband goods. But this was rejected by the magistrate who sentenced him to six months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months and imposed a $3,000 fine. Mr Haynes said it had taken seven Customs officers half an hour to find the unmanifested goods. They had been concealed among heavy lorry engine parts which were the legitimate cargo carried by Lei. Mr Haynes said it should not matter that the Court of Appeal, on an earlier occasion, upheld the argument that the Crown did not need to prove knowledge of guilt. He said the court was 'not the Pope' and was entitled to review previous rulings. But Mr Justice Henry Litton, Mr Justice Benjamin Liu and Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary dismissed this part of the appeal. After the hearing Mr Haynes said the case would go all the way to the Privy Council if necessary. Lei, who is married with children, is unable to work because Customs is still holding his lorry.