Women robbed by drug addicts

TWO drug addicts who robbed women at knifepoint were yesterday jailed for seven years by the High Court.

Printing worker Cheng Ping-lam, 28, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and one of theft. The Crown offered no evidence against him on one count of robbery and two of theft.

Unemployed Cheng Chi-ping, 29, admitted four robbery charges, but the Crown dropped one charge of robbery and one of theft.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Sears said the pair had staged a campaign of armed robbery against women.

They had waited in the early hours for unescorted women, threatened them with a knife and then robbed them.

The judge said women were entitled to go about their business without being terrified by people like the Chengs.

Those attacking women in this way would receive little mercy from the courts.

Senior Crown Counsel Stanley Chan told the court the offences all occurred in the early hours between May 30 and July 11 last year. One occurred in Tsing Yi and the rest took place in Tsz Wan Shan.

The victims were waylaid by one or both defendants who threatened them with knives before robbing them of a total of $14,000 and other personal belongings.

Cheng Ping-lam was arrested on July 11 last year in Tsing Yi after snatching a gold necklace from a woman on her way to work at 5.25 am.

His counsel, Bernard Chung, said the defendant was forced into committing the offences because he suffered from cash flow problems in his business.

Mr Chung and Cheng Chi-ping's counsel, Andy Hung, submitted their clients were drug addicts and part of the reason for getting involved in the crimes was to finance their habits.