FDH arrested for taking toy car, handkerchiefs

DON’T take home your employer’s old or used belongings.

A Filipino domestic helper almost landed in jail after she was caught trying to bring home to the Philippines some of her employer’s used belongings, including a toy car.

Shatin Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma convicted Imelda C.E.S. and ordered her to pay a fine of $500 but not before giving her a stern warning that she was very close to getting jailed.

“You came very close to an immediate custodial sentence,” Ma told Imelda during the hearing on December 1.

“This is not a case of theft by finding or supermarket theft. When you left your employer’s family, you just brought along $550 worth of belongings. This is a case of breach of trust,” he added.

Besides ordering her to pay a fine, Ma sentenced her to two weeks in prison but suspended it for two years.

This means that if Imelda does not commit a crime in Hong Kong in the next two years, she does not have to go to prison.

Imelda, who was remorseful, cried and hugged her lawyer after hearing Ma’s decision. She had admitted immediately to the crime after the police arrested her.

The prosecution said that the incident happened on October 31 at the home of Imelda’s employer in Ma On Shan.

The defendant had been working for her employer since June but decided to terminate her contract because her husband had found work in the United Arab Emirates. She has three sons back in the Philippines.

But as Imelda was about to leave Ma On Shan on October 31, her employer checked the domestic worker’s luggage and saw some of her old belongings.

These included two baby wipes, a pair of shoes, blankets, t-shirts, two towels, five handkerchiefs, and a toy car.

“Except for the first two items, almost all of the others were already used,” Imelda’s lawyer told the court.

But after the police arrived and took the worker to the police station, the 45-yearold defendant admitted to the crime.

“She wants to immediately return to the Philippines. She has no plans of returning to Hong Kong,” Imelda’s lawyer said.

He added that before her last contract in Ma On Shan, Imelda worked in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2004.