A man was jailed for a year and another for eight months over a vote-rigging scandal that marred the district council elections last November. They were the heaviest penalties yet over the ballot scam in the King's Park constituency in Mong Kok. Ku Chiu-ming, 41, received a prison term of 12 months and Chan Wai-kin, 41, was sentenced to eight months on one count of engaging in corrupt conduct with respect to voting at an election. Chan's wife, Cheung Kwai-yuk, was convicted of the same charge and freed on bail pending a probation report ahead of sentencing. Chan and Cheung, 42, had pleaded guilty, while Ku was convicted after trial. "The three convicted committed a very serious offence," Magistrate Abu Bakar bin Wahab said yesterday. "The district council election is part of Hong Kong's democracy." He said the punishment should pose a deterrent to others. The couple have lived in Waterloo Road since 2009 and were vendors of children's clothing. In last year's election, their home fell within the Kadoorie constituency in Kowloon City. But they told the Registration and Electoral Office that an address in Yin Chong Street, Mong Kok, was their "only or primary residence". They used the address to register as voters. Both of them voted on November 6 in the King's Park constituency. Their lawyer submitted two mitigation letters in which the couple said they "felt sorry" for what they had done. Cheung had been under the influence of her husband when she committed the crime, and she had not given it thorough consideration, the lawyer said. He argued for lenient sentencing, as the couple had to take care of their 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter during a critical stage of growth. Sentencing for Cheung was adjourned to November 22 at Kowloon City Court. Previously, people caught vote-rigging in the King's Park constituency were sent to jail for two to five months. A total of 69 people were arrested over the scam in last year's election, of whom 29 pleaded guilty.