The sorry saga over the Edison Chen Koon-hei sex photos deserves to be laid to rest. However, it remains to be seen whether the sentencing of computer technician Sze Ho-chun to 81/2 months in jail will achieve that result. A deterrent sentence has certainly been imposed. Hopefully this, and the publicity surrounding the trial, will alert people to their responsibility to protect and respect each other's property and privacy, in digital or other forms. That is unlikely, though, to bring closure to the victims whose lives and careers have been badly damaged, if not ruined, by the scandal. The sex scandal has tarnished the image of the entertainment industry, exposed youngsters to lurid pictures and caused public concern. Yet, despite the court case and police investigations, we still do not know how the photos were uploaded to the internet and spread around the world. Sze was convicted on three counts of accessing a computer for dishonest gain. He had transferred the photos to a computer, a server and a disc, which was given to a female client. However, Chief Magistrate Tong Man accepted there was no evidence to show Sze intended to spread the photos on the internet or to use them to blackmail anyone. The leak only became a scandal after they reached the internet. Seen in this light, Sze's punishment appears harsh. There is no doubt he was guilty of dishonest acts and that he had abused the trust placed in him. But he may or may not have been the conduit that led to the photos being uploaded onto the internet. It is possible other channels and people could have caused that. Indeed, people who had looked at those photos, and shared them with friends via e-mails and internet links, have all contributed to their rapid spread. Though a victim himself, Chen must bear some moral responsibility for the leak because of his careless handling of such inflammatory photos. The magistrate has cast doubt on his claim that he deleted the photos before taking his computer to Sze's shop for repairs. He believes the actor-singer was trying to play down his responsibility for what happened. Chen also wasted taxpayers' money by refusing to return to the city to testify, forcing Mr Tong and his legal team to fly to Vancouver to collect his evidence; a role model he is not. This sordid affair has tarnished our conscience. It is to be hoped that the tough sentence imposed in the case will deter others and help put the controversy behind us.