Three mainland tourists were jailed yesterday for 15 months for tricking a part-time garment worker out of cash and valuables worth $32,000 by claiming her husband and son would die without their spiritual help. District Court judge Derek Pang Wai-cheong, who had considered 12-month sentences for Ng Lau-mui, 32, Lau Ming-chun, 48, and Lam Wai-kwan, 45, increased the terms after hearing that such swindles were on the increase. Judge Pang considered an 18-month sentence as a starting point, but reduced it to 12 months because the defendants had admitted conspiracy to defraud. He then added a further three months. The court heard earlier that Ng approached Cheung Lai-ching, 47, in Lei Muk Shue, Tsuen Wan, on January 10 and asked if she knew where to find a 'miracle doctor'. At that point, Lau walked past and volunteered to show them. Out of curiosity, Ms Cheung followed to a spot nearby where they met Lam, who, after 'consulting the doctor', told Ms Cheung her home was haunted by a ghost that would bring death to her son and husband within three days unless a ceremony was held to 'avert calamities'. Lam agreed to 'worship the god' free of charge but said cash and gold ornaments were needed for the ceremony.