Pinay blames womanizing husband in shop theft

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Eastern Magistrates' Courts in Sai Wan Ho

A 47-year-old Filipino domestic worker was convicted of stealing several items from a popular retail store at the IFC mall in Central.

However, defendant Mylene H. blamed her husband, saying she forgot to pay for the grocery items at the City Super store because she was thinking of his betrayal when he left her for another woman a month before the incident.

According to the prosecutor, Mylene took six items—including a doll, a coffee dispenser, and baby socks—worth $851 from the store at around 1:44 p.m. on March 14.

The store’s assistant supervisor had noticed her putting the stolen items into her own dark red recycling bag instead of just laying them on the cart she was pushing.

The store official alerted security officers and went to the CCTV room to monitor Mylene’s movements.

“She arrived at the wine section and left the cart after picking up the recycling bag,” the assistant supervisor told the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts.

She left the store without paying for the items in her recycling bag and was intercepted by a security officer in front of the Victoria’s Secret store inside the mall.

When the judge ruled that she had a case to answer, Mylene opted not to testify but her lawyer said the defendant forgot to pay because she was busy “thinking of something” during the time of the incident.

Mylene’s employer, a British lawyer working for one of Hong Kong’s biggest banks, also testified in court and said she was an excellent employee. Her monthly salary was $5,500 or more than the minimum wage of $4,410 for foreign domestic workers.

But the judge ruled that the CCTV footage clearly showed that Mylene was guilty of theft.

“It is not reasonable to put unpaid items in any personal bag, especially when the cart was available. What you have done was totally unreasonable,” said Magistrate Cheng Lim-chi.

It was after the guilty verdict that Mylene’s lawyer divulged to the court that she was distressed at the time because her husband, who had come to work in Hong Kong, had left her for another woman.

“He came to Hong Kong in February but went for another woman. This was what was on her mind,” the lawyer said.

Judge Cheng said Mylene should have been imprisoned since she was found guilty after trial. But in a sign of leniency, the magistrate ordered her to instead pay a fine of $3,500.

“You do not earn tens of thousands of dollars and, in view of your clear record, I impose a fine of $3,500,” he said.

Mylene was able to pay $2,500 that same day because she had cash with her while the judge gave her 14 days to pay the remaining balance.

“If you can’t pay that in 14 days, you write the court and ask for an extension. If you don’t know how to write the letter, you can ask your employer,” the judge added.

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