A MAN convicted of rape and robbery may have been wrongly convicted of crimes committed by someone who bore an uncanny resemblance to him, the Court of Appeal held yesterday when ordering the release of David Yee. The court described the circumstances of Mr Yee's case as exceptional. He had been serving an 18-year jail sentence. Three months ago, Mr Yee, 34, was acquitted of rape and robbery when DNA tests not available at the trial proved that he could not have been the rapist despite positive identification by the victim. This was the first time the Court of Appeal had accepted DNA evidence. In this case, a 40-year-old woman had found three men in the bedroom of her Sai Kung home in the middle of the night. The woman, her husband and their three children were tied up. The men ransacked their home and she was taken out of the room and raped by an assailant, whom she identified as Mr Yee. Yesterday, the court, comprising Mr Justice Silke, Mr Justice Litton and Mr Justice Ryan, quashed another conviction for a robbery committed on April 11, 1991, 16 days before the rape and robbery, based on evidence from victim Wong Siu-wai, who identified Mr Yee as one of the robbers. Mr Yee had been sentenced to nine years' jail for this offence. The court heard that a group of robbers had also entered the house of Mr Wong and his mother in the middle of the night. He and his mother had been tied up. Mr Wong said one robber looked 'a bit like a foreigner'. Mr Yee is Eurasian. John Griffiths QC, leading Penelope Wacks, had pointed out weaknesses in his identification, saying Mr Wong had also wrongly picked out actors from parades. He had also argued that because of the strong, but wrong, identification by the wife in the rape and robbery case, who had described her attacker as 'not looking fully Chinese', Mr Wong's evidence should be treated with special care. The court held that Mr Justice Keith's directions to the jury on how to treat Mr Wong's evidence could not be faulted and that Mr Wong had been an honest witness. However, the judges went on to consider whether there was a lurking doubt about a possible injustice and queried whether, coincidental as it was, there could be someone in Hong Kong different from most Chinese but bearing a startling resemblance to Mr Yee. The court concluded that his conviction was unsafe. Mr Yee spent more than two years in custody.