FDH loses job over stolen gifts

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Eastern Magistrates' Courts

FOR wanting to give her teenage daughter gifts, a Filipino domestic worker stole some $1,800-worth of items from a mall in Quarry Bay, and for that she was fired from her job.

M.C. Viterbo, 37, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft at the Eastern Magistracy on Apr. 12.

Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai sentenced her to four weeks in prison, but suspended it for 18 months.

The suspended sentence means that if Viterbo does not commit any other offense within the period she did not have to serve the jail term.

On Dec. 26, 2016, a staff at the Aeon tore in Kornhill Road inspected the mall’s premises and found a “Hello Kitty” limited doll edition on display was missing from a rack.

Upon checking the CCTV recording, it was found an unknown female took the doll at around 8:28 p.m.

Then on Jan. 15, 2017, at the first floor of the mall, a staff also conducted an inspection at the appliances section and found a hair straightener and a hair dryer were also missing.

Upon checking the CCTV, it was found an unknown female took the items at around 8:30 p.m.

The two staff members reported the thefts to police and said they had no record the items were sold.

Police traced the female seen on the CCTV, and went to her employer’s flat in Quarry Bay.

During the search, the missing items were found in Viterbo’s possession. They were still unused.

In mitigation, the defendant’s duty lawyer said Viterbo committed the offense because she wanted to give them as gifts to her 17-year-old daughter.

The Filipina, who is separated from her husband since 2009, also supports her parents in the Philippines.

“As soon as the offense was made known to her employer, the defendant’s employment contract was terminated,” the duty lawyer said.

He also said the thefts were committed within three weeks.

“She now realizes that it was a stupid thing to do, and because of what she had done, the consequences of her actions were severe.

“She is very remorseful,” the duty lawyer added.

Judge Chainrai sentenced Viterbo to four weeks in prison for each charge.

Besides the suspended sentence, the Filipina was also ordered to pay $1,000 costs.

Viterbo first appeared in court on Mar. 16 for stealing the items from the mall.

The prosecution asked Judge Chainrai to adjourn the case to Apr. 12 to allow them to obtain more documents and for the defendant to consider her plea.

Judge Chainrai granted the adjournment and allowed Vietrbo to post $1,000 as bail, but was told to stay in Hong Kong, and reside in the address given to the court.

The address was a shelter provided to the defendant by the Philippine Consulate General, the duty lawyer of the defendant told the court.