A university graduate who broke into a school three times to steal books, which he sold to pay off loan sharks, was jailed for 16 months yesterday. Jonathan Yeung Ka-kit, 34, pleaded guilty in the District Court to three counts of burglary at Ho Lap College, a secondary school in San Po Kong in December, stealing 39 textbooks from students' lockers and selling them for HK$3,000. Defence lawyer Martyn Richmond said Yeung committed the offences out of desperation because he was unable to repay loan sharks money he had borrowed to support his ill and retired parents. Passing a lenient sentence, the judge urged Yeung, who graduated from the Faculty of Art at the University of Hong Kong, to make use of his academic background to turn himself a 'real filial son'. Despite his academic qualification, the court heard Yeung earned no more than HK$5,000 a month as a financial manager at a consultant firm in Tsuen Wan and he resorted to loan sharks to pay for his parents' upkeep after declaring bankruptcy last year. Richmond said Yeung was unable to find a job with salary more than a few thousand dollars a month and had been collecting textbooks for resale. Yeung was earlier sentenced to 160 hours' community service for a theft at his private student's home last year. Passing sentence, Judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi said: 'Given [Yeung's] academic achievement, it is a pity and a shame that a university graduate ended up this way. The sadness and degree of disappointment showed by his parents is understandable, especially when [Yeung] was the only son in the family.' The judge, who said he would treat Yeung leniently, adopted two years' imprisonment, rather than an established starting point of 2.5 years, for each of the three charges, reducing them by a third in consideration of Yeung's pleas. The terms were ordered to run concurrently.