Hong Kong courts

Woman who treated HK$300,000 designer shoe collection like ‘her pets’ loses lawsuit against couple she claimed stole all 50 pairs after buying her Hong Kong home

  • Plaintiff Luk Po-ying loved her shoes so much she even talked to them sometimes, court told
  • Judge rules against Luk and calls her a neglectful owner
PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2018, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2018, 12:17am

A Hong Kong woman who talked to her HK$300,000 (US$38,500) collection of expensive shoes and treated them like pets lost a lawsuit in which she claimed a married couple stole the items after buying her flat.

District Judge Harold Leong Kwok-on wrote in a judgment on Monday that there was insufficient evidence to support Luk Po-ying’s claim against defendants Sandick Pau Ching-chow and his wife Monica Lee Yik-mung.

The plaintiff, in her 60s, had even “fabricated” evidence that she showed Lee the shoe collection when Lee first went to view the home in September 2016, the judgment said.

The District Court earlier heard that Luk treated the 50 pairs of luxury shoes, which included brands such as Manolo Blahnik and Gucci, as her “pets” and “treasure”.

She loved her shoes so much she even talked to them sometimes.

Luk said she accidentally left the shoes in her flat at Bamboo Villa, Cheung Sha Wan, after she sold the property to the couple in October 2016.

She returned to the flat in December but could not find the shoes.

Luk said she had sought damages from the couple because she had suffered from emotional, psychological and psychiatric harm as a result of the loss.

Woman sues couple over loss of HK$300,000 shoe collection

“It is clear that despite the plaintiff claiming how she valued the shoes as if they were her pets and even talked to them sometimes, it would appear she was quite a neglectful owner,” the judgment said.

It added that the cabinet where Luk stored the shoes was in a common area just a few steps up from the main foyer of the building. The flat is on the first floor and the building has no lift. All the neighbours or visitors to the flats above would have passed quite close by the cabinet, it said.

There could be many scenarios where someone other than the defendants could have discovered and removed the shoes, it added.

The plaintiff did not provide enough evidence to show it was likely the shoes were even there at the relevant time for the defendants to take, the judgment said.

Luk, who owned homes in various places around the world, earlier told the court that between October and December 2016, she was making preparations to move. It coincided with a time when she was occupied with helping her son, who lived in Australia, organise his passport application for Hong Kong.