SOLICITOR Alick Au Shui-yuen yesterday lost his appeal against conviction for helping disgraced ex-government lawyer Warwick Reid flee Hong Kong, and his appeal against a four-year jail sentence. Chief Justice Sir Ti Liang Yang, in a lengthy judgment explaining why Au's conviction for conspiring to pervert the course of justice should not be overturned, said the trial judge's summing up was careful and comprehensive. Au, through his counsel, Gerard McCoy, had complained that Deputy Judge Jones made errors of law in his summing up which had led to inadmissible evidence being left before the jury and had gravely prejudiced him. But Sir Ti Liang said the judge's directions were satisfactory. Mr McCoy then submitted that Au, 38, who is due to be released in five months, should be freed immediately. He said Au's career as a solicitor was ruined and he had brought enormous shame on himself, his family and his colleagues. Au had escorted Reid from Hong Kong to the Philippines through an elaborate plan, via Macau and Guangzhou. Counsel said Au was not acting as a solicitor when he committed the offence and he pointed out that Reid was only wanted for not filling in forms about his assets, rather than the serious corruption offences that came to light later. He said Au had had to wait for trial for a year after the Crown succeeded in having his case severed from other defendants. Reid received an eight-year jail sentence and Au four years but their culpability was incomparable, he said. Reid had brought the justice system in Hong Kong to its knees because as deputy director of public prosecutions he could influence the outcome oftrials. Dismissing the application, the Chief Justice said the lengths to which Au went to help Reid escape, and the persistence with which he pursued the plan, could not be overlooked.