Bank chief's son on further theft charge

HANG Seng Bank chairman's son, George Lee Wing-chi, has been charged again with theft and will stand trial in May for allegedly stealing chocolates from a shop last Thursday.

Lee, 43, is accused of stealing four boxes of chocolates and a doll from Mannings at 88 Queen's Road Central on February 3 while on bail for four outstanding similar charges.

The Crown alleges that the stolen items were worth a total of $514.70.

This is the third time Lee has been arrested since he was granted bail for the first two theft charges he faced last October.

Lee, the owner of a shares and investment company, pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft.

His counsel, Charles Ching QC, asked Western Court to try the present case with the outstanding consolidated case on March 18.

But prosecutor Thomas Chan objected to the application.

Mr Chan said the court might not have enough time to hear an additional case that day.

Magistrate Mary Yuen shared Mr Chan's view and fixed the trial for May 20.

Although the prosecution raised no objection to Lee's bail application, Ms Yuen doubled Lee's bail to $2,000 cash.

Two months ago, Lee pleaded not guilty to two similar offences which allegedly took place last October.

He was accused of stealing a black travelling bag, a bottle of perfume, a box of dried flowers, one cigar and a box of perfumed candles with a total value of $2,583 from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 16.

The Crown also accused Lee of stealing a small torch worth $40 from a company in Stanley Street in Central.

Lee, who was arrested again when he was on bail for the first two theft charges, is further charged with stealing 24 cans of assorted soft drinks worth a total of $115.40 from the 7-Eleven at 68 Connaught Road Central on December 6.

Earlier last month, Lee pleaded not guilty to another theft charge. The case had been consolidated with the two previous ones.

Lee allegedly stole The Biography of Deng Xiaoping; two volumes of the Memoirs of Xu Jiantun, Days in Hong Kong; and two videotapes from Times Book Centre in the Man Yee Building, Central last month.