Filipina DH acquitted of grocery theft charge

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Kowloon City Magistrates Courts

A Filipina domestic helper accused of stealing goods worth $281.30 from a grocery store in Hung Hom in May was acquitted of theft Thursday.

Deputy Magistrate Tsang Chung-yiu of the Kowloon City Magistrates Courts said the prosecution was not able to prove the guilt of 42-year-old Bless Murphy Leganio beyond reasonable doubt.

Tsang, in recalling the defendant’s submission, said Leganio was reported to the police after a staff of ParkNShop in Whampoa Garden found unpaid grocery items—including rolls of tissue paper and red wine—in her bag.

She was stopped by the salesman three meters outside of the shop. Leganio apologized and offered to pay.

The defendant’s lawyer had explained that she had lost her concentration that day because she was just told of her mother’s hospitalization the day before. The magistrate also cited CCTV footage in the supermarket showing Leganio just standing in the grocery store for a few seconds.

Leganio’s employer, who took the witness stand, knew of the condition of Leganio’s mother on the day the offense was committed.

She added that Leganio had borrowed HK$15,000 months prior to the offense as his son got injured in an accident. Leganio had it paid in full after, with the employer adding that she trusted her helper.