A taxi driver's refusal to take a passenger cost him more than the fare - the man turned out to be an off-duty magistrate, and the cabbie ended up with a HK$4,000 fine. Chau Yui-kwan, 68, was convicted in Kowloon City Court yesterday on a charge of refusing hire for Raymond Wong Kwok-fai in June last year. The two parties gave different accounts of the events on June 11 when Wong, carrying a bag of oranges and some beverages, approached Chau's taxi in On Chun Street, Ma On Shan. But Deputy Special Magistrate Manuel Chong ruled that Chau was not being honest while Wong was reliable and credible. Wong, who had been shopping with his wife and 19-year-old son, testified that he was halfway into the front seat of the taxi when he told Chau he wanted to go to nearby Lake Silver flats. The driver said his taxi was a Hong Kong Island one and Wong said he was told to 'go take a New Territories taxi'. 'I said to him: 'You have to go wherever I want to go to'.' After a brief argument, Wong said he told the driver he would lodge a complaint. Chau replied that it was, 'Up to you'. 'I knew that there was no way to resolve the matter and I didn't want to drag the matter out so I got out of the taxi,' Wong said. He then used his mobile phone to take a picture of the taxi's number plate. Chau, cross-examining Wong, said: 'I didn't hear where you wanted to go. You didn't get into the taxi. What you said in court today was a pack of lies.' Wong said he believed Chau had heard him. Chau said: 'If you were in the taxi, I would have driven you. I am a Catholic, I won't tell a lie.' Chau testified that he had put a cover over the for-hire flag, indicating that he would not take any passenger. He said: 'I saw a man walking quickly towards my taxi. He pointed a finger at me and said, 'Go to somewhere, go to somewhere'. 'I couldn't hear what he said. So I rolled down my widow, stuck my head out but I still could not hear,' Chau said. 'He then said if you do not go, I will sue you for refusing hire. He then took a photo,' Chau said. 'He didn't tell me to go to Lake Silver.' Chong said that if Chau had not wanted to take a passenger, he would not have tried to clarify with Wong where he wanted to go to. He said Chau's evidence was filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. The court heard that Chau had been fined nine times for speeding and failing to comply with traffic signals. Chau asked the court to be lenient because his wife was chronically ill.