AN unclear charge and an unclear reason for a verdict led to the Court of Appeal quashing the conviction of a man found guilty of obtaining property by deception. The Appeal Court said the only clear issue was that the charge and the reason for conviction contradicted each other dramatically. The overturning of the conviction, however, did nothing to shorten the six-year prison term Man Kwok-ping is serving since the court dismissed his other appeal on two counts of robbery and declined to interfere with the overall penalty. Man, 37, was found guilty after a trial by District Court Judge Caird, who sentenced him to two years' jail for the deception charge. The judge, however, ordered the penalty to run concurrently with the 31/2 years' jail he had imposed for one of the robberies but consecutively with the 21/2 years for the second robbery. One holdup was in a stone hut in a Tai Po village on June 29, 1992. The other one was on February 17 the same year, in a wooden hut in a Fanling village. The Crown said that before robbing Luk Ping-hung of $3,000, Man had earlier obtained $8,000 from him by falsely claiming he represented the owner of the Fanling hut and had authority over the tenancy transaction. Delivering the appeal judgment, Mr Justice Bokhary, sitting with Vice-President Mr Justice Macdougall and Mr Justice Litton, said the particulars of the deception charge were difficult to follow. However, he said, it appeared to suggest that Man pretended he was authorised by the owner of the hut to let it on his behalf to Mr Luk. The trial judge, in finding Man guilty of the charge, held that Man had deceived Mr Luk by falsely representing that he had the right to exercise the ownership right on behalf of someone else. Mr Justice Bokhary agreed with a comment by Mr Justice Litton that he was unable to decipher from the verdict what the reasons for conviction were. There was a clear difference between pretending to let the premises on behalf of someone else and pretending to sell the hut as one's own, he added.