A Vietnamese man has been jailed for three robberies he committed in the hope of getting paid jobs in prison. Deputy Judge Derek Pang Wai-cheong, however, said in sentencing yesterday in the Court of First Instance that committing a crime to go to prison was not a mitigating factor. Bui Van Hien, 22, pleaded guilty to two robberies and a count of assault with intent to rob. He was sentenced to four years and eight months in jail. The court heard Bui, who sneaked into Hong Kong from the mainland, robbed three women aged 16 to 44 on May 13 last year. The women were walking alone in Wong Tai Sin when Bui approached them from behind and snatched items from them. The first victim, whose purse, necklace and mobile phone were stolen, suffered minor injuries when Bui grabbed her neck and threatened her with a knife. The second victim, who was walking to a minibus stop, had her mobile phone taken from her while she was talking on it. The third victim was also talking on the phone when Bui approached her, but by then police were following him. As Bui tried to grab her necklace, officers subdued him. In sentencing, Mr Justice Pang said Bui focused on 'easy targets for easy execution and escape'. The court heard Bui came to Hong Kong because he heard he could make money working at a construction site. He also heard that the conditions in Hong Kong prisons were 'relatively good'. He arranged to come to the city through a middleman in Vietnam who was paid about HK$2,000. But when Bui arrived, he found he had no money for food. In a letter to Mr Justice Pang, Bui confessed that he committed the robberies because he knew he could earn a living in prison.