A wealthy secretary had her conviction for shoplifting designer handbags at Kai Tak quashed yesterday. Ng Siu-shan successfully appealed against a guilty verdict which had seen her spend two weeks in jail and pay a $2,000 fine. She was convicted at the magistrates' court last April even though her teenage daughter had confessed to police, the High Court was told. Martin Lee Chu-ming QC, for Ms Ng, argued magistrate Brian Chau Hau-yau could not have known what Ms Ng said to her 13-year-old daughter after they were stopped for shoplifting on December 16 last year. 'Whether or not the mother knew [of the shoplifting] goes to the root of the defence,' Mr Lee said. He said there was no evidence presented which proved the mother had coached her daughter, Chan Tuck-wing, about what to tell police. While waiting for their flight to Vancouver, Ms Ng, 43, and Tuck-wing left the crowded Marco Polo lounge. They browsed in the Duty Free Shoppers store in the departure lounge. They were followed out by an employee who claimed to have spotted Ms Ng pass an expensive leather handbag to her daughter. A search of their trolley uncovered $7,800 worth of designer handbags and watches from the store. The pair were left together for 40 minutes and, when the police arrived, the daughter confessed. Mr Justice Thomas Gall ruled the convicting magistrate had speculated the girl had been cajoled into confessing. 'The magistrate said that [Tuck-wing] gave evidence in which she sought to exonerate her mother by saying she did it all by herself,' the judge said. 'But the evidence is wholly silent on what took place between the apprehension and when their statements were taken.' Ms Ng returned from Canada on April 13 for the magistrates' court hearing, at which her daughter was also convicted and fined $1,000. Ms Ng, who lives in Canada and works for an immigration consultant, was not in court yesterday.