A baker who turned himself in to the police after he stole three human skulls from tombs was sentenced to six months in jail yesterday. The human remains were stolen by Ip Kuok-weng and three friends in Butterfly Hill, Fanling, in mid-February this year, Fanling Court was told. The skulls were of a young woman, an elderly man and an elderly woman. Ip, 21, had pleaded guilty to removing human remains from an urn without permission, as well as one count of attempting to remove human remains from an urn without permission. In sentencing, Magistrate Eddie Yip Chor-man called the offence very serious, especially since Ip took the human remains for financial gain and the crime had been planned by several people. But Ip's sentence was reduced by two months when the judge considered his mitigation statement and the assistance he had provided police. Barrister Mark Sullivan said the defendant had committed the offences because he needed money to repay his mother's gambling debts. Ip's friends had persuaded him to commit the crime, he said. Ip had shown remorse by surrendering to the police and pleading guilty, Mr Sullivan also noted, saying the case would not have been brought to court if Ip had not turned himself in. Pang Hong-ting, 17, was yesterday acquitted of removing human remains from an urn without permission, to which she had pleaded not guilty. Wong Tsz-wing, 22, was earlier acquitted of a similar charge. The case came to light when Ip surrendered to the police on February 29, saying that he and three others had stolen skulls from the graveyard, the court heard. Prosecutor Alvin Chui Ho-yin had noted that it was one of those others who called Ip's attention to an internet posting from Malaysia offering to pay HK$10,000 for human skulls. The friend promised to share the money with Ip if he helped him find some skulls, Mr Chui said. The group of four arrived at the graveyard at 11am on the day of the crime. Ip and one of the others opened eight urns and eventually took away three skulls. On March 1, the police received a paper bag containing the three skulls wrapped in three pieces of black cloth. The court was not told explicitly how the skulls arrived there.