Two unemployed men who admitted their roles in a share-manipulation scheme were spared jail yesterday. Judge Bernard Whaley ordered Raymond Wong Wing-keung, 33, to perform 240 hours of community service and gave Stephen Lee Sing-wai, 36, a suspended jail sentence for three years. Both had pleaded guilty last month to creating a false or misleading appearance of active trading in the shares of Gay Giano International. They were ordered to shoulder the HK$280,000 investigation costs incurred by the Securities and Futures Commission. The suspended jail sentence was the most severe punishment ever imposed in a market manipulation case. 'I was surprised by the previous leniency of sentences, bearing in mind that members of the public who would buy shares were put at risk by such conduct,' Judge Whaley said in the District Court. The prosecution had submitted a summary of sentences in market manipulation cases since 1991, most of which involved suspended sentences of less than a year or fines of less than HK$80,000. The pair traded between themselves - and others - from April to September 2000 to give the false appearance of active trading in the clothing retailer's shares. A total of 72.37 million shares, 27.54 per cent of turnover, was involved.