An examination officer's fear of dying young drove him to steal test papers so his only son could get good results for the sake of their family, a court heard yesterday. But the Hong Kong Examination Authority became suspicious when the 16-year-old boy scored 'A' in eight subjects, with exactly the same answers - and mistakes - as those in its model responses. At Eastern Court yesterday, Mak Cheung-wah, 42, pleaded guilty to permitting his son access to the papers. The boy, Shiu-bong, has been disqualified from the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, the results of which were announced last week. Senior Counsel Ching Y. Wong, for Mak, told the court his client wanted his son to have a good education and become the family leader if he died. Most of the men in Mak's family had died while aged in their 40s. He was worried he would share the same fate. Mak had high hopes for the boy and when his son could not reach those standards, he did a stupid thing out of love, said Mr Wong. The court heard how, in June 1995, Mak copied a set of keys with a view to gaining access to the exam papers and answers at a later date. Between November and December last year, he secretly unlocked eight safes which kept different subject papers. He photocopied the questions and answers for English, Chinese, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, economics and history. Mak handed the copies to his son in April and told him to learn them by heart. The scam was revealed when the boy gave the same answers and mistakes as those in official-only model answer sheets. Mak did not copy the bible study paper, for which Shiu-bong scored 'C'. Mak was secretary of the moderation committee in charge of this year's papers in economics, public affairs, and government and public affairs for liberal studies, the court heard. He would lose his 12-year career with the civil service and a $700,000 provident fund. The Independent Commission Against Corruption dropped a second charge of conspiracy to defraud which had alleged Mak conspired with the boy to use the papers dishonestly. Magistrate James Lee Chung-yin adjourned sentencing to August 28, pending a community service report.