A TEENAGE girl who woke and found a robber in her room suffocated after being gagged and left covered by a blanket, the High Court was told yesterday. The court also heard that six days before the raid, in 1990, robber Tsang Kai-chiu, 23, had been released from a training centre where he had served a term for burglary. He fled Hong Kong after the killing and was only handed over to the police by Taiwanese authorities on January 30 this year. While he pleaded guilty to a count of robbery, he denied murdering Fok Mei-po, 18, but admitted the lesser charge of manslaughter. Sentencing him to eight years' jail, Mr Justice Saied told the court the crime was a serious one, even if the robbery could be categorised as a ''last-minute venture'', as Tsang claimed. Prosecutor Frank Veltro told the court Fok's brother went to work at about 9.30 am on June 27, 1990, while she remained asleep at their So Uk estate home. At about 12.18 pm police received an anonymous call saying a robbery might be in progress at the premises. When the police arrived, they found Fok lying unconscious on the floor in her bedroom with her mouth gagged and her head covered with a towel and a blanket. She was rushed to hospital, where she was certified dead about an hour later. After his arrest, Tsang admitted that on the day in question, he and three friends, Chung ka-wing, 23, Chan Yee-lap, 21, and Yuen Ping-kuen, 20, were having tea in a restaurant and planned to burgle the premises. When they tried the door bell three times and got no response, they decided to go ahead with their plan. Tsang gained entry to the flat from the roof. He noticed Fok was asleep in the bedroom. However, she suddenly woke and shouted for help. Tsang then covered her mouth with his hand. A struggle ensued, during which he picked up a radio and hit her several times on the head until she stopped moving. He then tied her up, gagged her and covered her with a blanket before letting the others in. They ransacked the flat, taking $100 cash and some foreign currency. When they realised the girl had remained motionless for some time, one of the thieves rang the police. The court heard that Chung, Chan and Yuen had pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery and were each sentenced to five years' jail by Mr Justice Gall on March 12 last year. Tsang's counsel, Malcolm Nunns, submitted it was a robbery that went wrong. It was a tragedy and there was nothing the court could do to bring back Fok's life, he said. He said the robbery was planned and executed the same morning Tsang, having no money, met his friends. It could be said that it was a last-minute venture, Mr Nunns added. He said it was unfortunate that the girl was in the flat and woke screaming and that Tsang's instinctive reaction was to stop her. He had only covered her with a blanket so that she could not see him, said Mr Nunns, asking the court to take into account that Tsang had always been prepared to plead guilty to manslaughter and robbery.