A magistrate said an ICAC investigator who stole red wine by switching its bar codes 'knew the law but broke the law', and ordered him to perform 120 hours of community service. Cheng Sze-chung, 35, was convicted in Eastern Court earlier of theft for stealing two bottles of red wine at the Apita department store in Taikoo Shing on March 30 last year. He had pleaded not guilty and was convicted after trial. Deputy Magistrate Kennis Tai Chiu-ki said Cheng had been an Independent Commission Against Corruption officer with a bright future and a depth of experience and that the case was regrettable. His offence, she said, involved a certain level of premeditation. The commission said Cheng had been interdicted and that his actions in the case did not have any relation to his duties at the ICAC. The commission is considering whether to impose disciplinary action according to established procedures. The court heard earlier that Cheng had placed bar code stickers for a 2006 Chateau Lagrange-les-Tours wine costing HK$75 per bottle on to two bottles of 2006 Chateau Pavie Macquin, HK$685 each. He paid HK$150 and left. A plainclothes guard at the store spotted him placing the labels on to the bottles and stopped him after he had paid at a cashier. Cheng's lawyer, Lawrence Lok Ying-kam, SC, said Cheng's future with the ICAC was doubtful after his conviction. He said his client had stolen the wine because of momentary greed. Lok submitted a commendation letter from the ICAC for Cheng's previous work and a letter from a barrister in a District Court case Cheng had investigated saying he had been helpful. Lok also submitted mitigation letters from Cheng's family and friends, who called him a good father, husband and son. Cheng, who has worked for the ICAC for 12 years, graduated from Polytechnic University and has a law degree. He passed an ICAC exam for the post of senior investigator in November last year.