The custom of handing down suspended prison sentences to people who employ illegal immigrants must stop, a judge warned yesterday. Mr Justice Colin Jackson made the written statement as he dismissed Leung Chun-sang's appeal against a four-month prison term handed down on December 11. Leung, 37, had pleaded guilty in a magistrate's court to two counts of hiring a person not lawfully employable. Leung had employed two mainland visitors to work for his car repair business on Castle Peak Road in June last year. One of the men was jailed for two months and the other received a suspended two-month term. During Leung's appeal against sentence, the Court of First Instance heard the prosecution had told the sentencing magistrate that suspended prison terms were often imposed even when jail was appropriate. But the magistrate dismissed the advice and sentenced Leung to four months, saying: 'It is evident that my sentence of four months' imprisonment is well below the proper tariff.' Counsel for Leung, Kwong Kin-ning, told Mr Justice Jackson the magistrate had erred in jailing his client for four months - a term he deemed excessive. He argued it had become a custom in the magistrates' courts to suspend prison sentences upon a prompt guilty plea. Mr Justice Jackson, however, rejected the submission. 'In my view, if that is indeed so and prison sentences are routinely suspended without there being exceptional circumstances to justify such suspension, than that is wrong in principle, and the practice should forthwith stop,' he said.