The Court of Appeal yesterday set out the reasons for its decision to quash the bribery conviction of a former Water Supplies Department inspector and reduce the 14-month jail term of a co-defendant by two months. Former inspector Kwok Yan-tak, 60, walked free on April 15 when the Court of Appeal judges - Mr Justice Robert Tang Ching, Madam Justice Maria Yuen Ka-ning and Madam Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling - quashed his conviction and dismissed his sentence. Kwok had been sentenced to a one-year jail term for allegedly receiving HK$75,000 from the owner of a water and electrical engineering company. He was also accused of offering the owner HK$2,000 in lucky money. The appeal court also reduced the sentence imposed on company owner Ma King-tsang, 49. No retrial was required, the Court of Appeal ruled. The pair were convicted in the District Court on September 21 on one count of conspiracy to offer bribes to a public officer, one of accepting bribes, and one of offering bribes. They were sentenced by Deputy Judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng on October 5. Giving the reasons for its judgment, the Court of Appeal said the 14-month sentence imposed on Ma was manifestly excessive and therefore warranted a two-month reduction. In deciding Kwok's case, the court held that there was a piece of evidence in his interview, conducted by officers from the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which the District Court judge had not fully considered. During last year's trial, Kwok complained of being induced or misled by investigators into making admissions on his business dealings with Ma. He also alleged the investigators told him it was not illegal for a public officer to work part-time. The appeal court said the judge had not fully considered Kwok's replies to investigators, which might have suggested there was a prior mention of 'part-time work' before he confessed to the work deals. The appeal judges concluded that the District Court judge should have taken that into consideration.