A securities company supervisor who claimed he stole a client's money to take care of his sick elderly mother was jailed yesterday for 20 months. Wong Yiu-tung, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, admitting he had stolen a total of $362,381 from client Thomas Chan Siu-kou, who bought shares through Tai Tak Securities Co Ltd, where Wong worked. Wong, formerly the supervisor of the company's settlement department, deposited two cheques provided by Mr Chan on September 18 and October 18 last year into his personal account. Both cheques were for share purchases, with the payee column left blank, prosecutor Lily Ho told the District Court. Barrister Albert Luk, for Wong, pleaded for leniency as Wong committed the offence because of financial difficulties triggered by the needs of his elderly mother. Wong's mother, aged over 70, was deaf and mute and had to live in a home for the aged that cost Wong more than $6,000 a month, Mr Luk said. He said the victim had been fully compensated by the securities company. Judge Maggie Poon Man-kay described the offence as a clear case of breach of trust. 'While I am sympathetic to the defendant's personal circumstances, financial difficulties can never be regarded as a licence to commit crime,' she said.