A 48-year-old Filipina domestic worker was sentenced to nine months and three weeks in jail for stealing valuables worth HK$211,000 (US$26,928) from her employer and overstaying in the city for three years.
Fedelita R Sante pleaded guilty to the charge of theft and overstaying at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Monday, hongkongnews.com.hk reported.
The court heard the defendant, who came to Hong Kong in December 2013, had been employed by Helene Silvie Viquel, 37, who lived at Sum Way Mansions in Sai Ying Pun on Hong Kong Island.
Sante stole her employer’s diamond necklace with a diamond pendant, a diamond ring and an iPad Air tablet computer between January 6 and February 4, 2015, and left without notice and became unreachable.
Investigators valued the necklace and pendant at HK$200,000, the ring at HK$5,000 and the tablet at HK$6,000.
After the theft was reported to police, investigators checked with pawnshops and one operator tipped them off that Sante, who presented her Hong Kong ID card, hocked the necklace and iPad Air in January 2015.
Sante went underground and was arrested on October 5 for overstaying when she turned herself in to immigration officers at Skyline Tower in Kowloon Bay, sunwebhk.com reported. Officers who ran a record check then discovered she was wanted for theft.
The defense lawyer pleaded for leniency saying the defendant, who has four sons aged between 18 and 25 in the Philippines, needed money as her mother had been involved in a car accident at the time, adding that she was influenced by some friends in Hong Kong.
Magistrate Peter Law said he had discounted the sentences by one-third for the Filipina’s guilty pleas.