Former Wheelock taipan and Jockey Club voting member John Terrence Hung has only himself to blame for his 'nasty fall from grace', a District Court judge said yesterday, when jailing him for two years on four charges of corruption. Deputy Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on also ordered Hung, 70, to pay the Jockey Club HK$350,000 he was given for helping a racing member obtain a full membership of the club. The judge said such behaviour was not only highly prejudicial to the interests of the club, but it also deprived other candidates who had applied for full membership through proper channels an equal chance of selection. 'It was a serious breach of trust,' Judge Kwok said. 'You failed the Hong Kong Jockey Club considerably.' The former businessman pleaded not guilty to one count of soliciting an advantage and three of accepting an advantage totalling HK$450,000 from a middleman, Joseph Loong Shun-ming, in October 2006 as a reward for helping racing member Joanne Wong Pui to become a full member - who enjoys more privileges. Hung claimed the money was a loan from Mr Loon, whom he described as a friend, and not connected to Ms Wong's membership bid. But the judge said it would be an astonishing coincidence if the two things were not connected. 'The nexus between solicitation and acceptance of the money by the accused and his recommendation of Wong for full membership and accelerated admission was just so natural and obvious,' he said. Hung was only ordered to pay the club HK$350,000 because HK$100,000 of the money was seized by the Independent Commission Against Corruption officers upon his arrest at a bar in the Conrad hotel on December 1, 2006. Defence counsel Raymond Pierce, who told the court earlier that Hung accepted the loan as he needed more than HK$2 million for his son's studies in Australia and his daughter's wedding into a prominent Hong Kong family, said Hung's conviction was catastrophic not only for his family, but for his future job opportunities and ability to seek credit. 'He has plunged from the peak circle of the community to the bottom,' he said. But Judge Kwok said Hung was the author of his own misfortune and had only himself to blame. The judge, however, reduced Hung's sentence by six months because of his age and past contributions to society. Hung, who is also a member of the Hong Kong Club and president of the Hong Kong Cricket Club, was awarded a silver Bauhinia medal by the government for his efforts in promoting sport in Hong Kong. Hung earlier told the court he had told Mr Loong he wanted nothing for helping Ms Wong. He raised the topic of a loan 40 to 50 minutes after this conversation, as a separate issue. But Judge Kwok rejected his testimony, ruling this time gap was an afterthought created for his defence, as Hung never mentioned the point during four interviews with the ICAC.