Customers deny blackmail claim

FOUR men who claimed they found glass in a bowl of noodles at an Ap Lei Chau restaurant demanded $40,000 'compensation', the District Court heard.

The group was having breakfast at Samuel's on April 10 last year when one of them, Lee Wah-ka, told waiter Ng Chung-fai he had found glass in his meal.

The waiter apologised and offered a new bowl of noodles, but Lee refused them, Judge Muttrie heard.

The court heard that as the men walked off, Mr Ng saw Lee had broken two glass doors. They also allegedly failed to pay their $141 bill.

It is alleged Lee and hawker Chung Fook, 24, returned at lunchtime and spoke to one of the proprietors, Peter Fong Pi-tak.

They are alleged to have demanded $40,000 as compensation. Mr Fong told his brother, Fong Wing-wo, and police were informed.

The court heard Lee, Lee Choi-chun, 29, Chung and Lee Pei-keung returned two hours later. Lee Wah-ka allegedly agreed to accept $20,000 but had threatened Mr Fong Wing-wo if he did not pay.

Police then arrived.

Apprentice Lee Wah-ka, 21, and decorator Lee Pei-keung, 19, pleaded not guilty to making off without payment of $141. Lee Wah-ka further denied criminal damage. All four pleaded not guilty to blackmail.

The hearing continues.