Hong Kong courts

‘Treasured’ HK$300,000 designer shoe collection at heart of lawsuit between woman and couple that bought her Hong Kong home

Shoes from luxury designers Manolo Blahnik, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton among 50 pairs that went missing after sale of Cheung Sha Wan flat

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 7:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 10:21am

A Hong Kong woman has accused a couple who bought her home of stealing a collection of designer shoes worth up to HK$300,000.

Luk Po-ying told the District Court on Tuesday that she treated the 50 pairs of luxury shoes – which included designer name brands such as Manolo Blahnik and Gucci – as “pets” and her “treasure”.

“She loved her shoes so much she treated them as pets, and talked to them sometimes,” her barrister Kenneth Lam Ka-yan said, in opening written remarks.

But, the woman claimed she accidentally left the shoes in her Bamboo Villa flat, in Cheung Sha Wan, after she sold it to Sandick Pau Ching-chow, and his wife Monica Lee Yik-mung, in 2016.

After the sale of the flat, the shoes were nowhere to be seen, the court heard.

Testifying on Tuesday, she insisted the couple had taken her much cherished items.

“They are the new owners,” she said. “And shoes ain’t got no legs to run.”

She is claiming financial damages from the couple because she said, as a result of the loss, she suffered from emotional, psychological, and psychiatric harm.

Luk, who owns homes in various places around the world, told the court that she sold the flat in question to the Paus in October 2016. So between then, and December that year, she was making preparations to move out.

Hong Kong man with foot fetish convicted for third time over theft of women’s shoe

However, it coincided with a time when she was occupied with helping her son, who lives in Australia, in organising his passport application for Hong Kong.

She needed to fly to Sydney twice during that period, leaving the task of moving to her domestic helper. But, she later learned the helper had left her designer shoes at the Bamboo Villa flat.

The shoes were made by a host of famous designers, including Salvatore Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton, with the most expensive, a HK$16,000 pair by Manolo Blahnik, according to court documents. Their total value exceeded HK$300,000.

Luk said she was certain Lee knew about the existence of those shoes, because she had shown them to her when giving her a tour of the flat before the sale was agreed. Pau also should have seen it, she said.

She said she found her shoes missing on December 20, a day after she returned from Australia. Then she rang Lee.

But, she claimed Lee hung up the phone and was not willing to talk until she reported the case to the police.

Lee told her, she claimed, that she had asked a renovation worker to dispose of the shoes.

“Just think of it as them being donated to the Salvation Army,” Luk recalled being told.

Clutching a pink Louis Vuitton handbag, and an equally noticeable red checked scarf, the woman, in her 60s, claimed Lee humiliated her in a series of phone calls.

She said Lee had made denials, vowing that had she taken the shoes, she would be forever “deprived of children and grandchildren”.

But Luk rejected her denials, the court heard.

The case continues before Judge Harold Leong on Thursday.