Three months for FDH who ran away with gold ring

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Shatin Magistracy

A judge in Shatin sentenced this afternoon a 35-year-old Filipino domestic worker to three months in jail for trying to steal a gold ring from a jewelry store in Shatin.

Magistrate Colin Wong Sze-cheung said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Roselyn T. Guillermo tried to steal the ring, worth $3,784, from jewelry shop at the Shatin Centre Shopping Arcade.

He rejected Guillermo’s claim that she went out of the store because a friend she was going to meet was calling her phone.

The judge pointed out that the CCTV footage of the incident showed that Guillermo never checked on her phone when she went out of the jewelry store.

“From the video, it did not show that the defendant checked her phone. Further, defendant did not attempt to call her friend back and did not in any way try to use her phone to try to find her friend,” Judge Wong said in his verdict.

The magistrate noted that Guillermo did not use her phone even when she supposedly “did not know where her friend is.”

“Instead, she walked out (of the store) and later ran away. Therefore, I do not believe the defendant’s evidence. I accept the prosecution’s evidence,” Judge Wong said.

“The only irresistible inference is she had a dishonest intention. I find the defendant guilty of the charge,” he added.

The magistrate initially sentenced the defendant to four months in prison but reduced this to three months after Guillermo’s lawyer told the court that she was suffering from depression.

“Listening to her mitigation, she has suffered depressions since this matter and has secured medication as a result of this case. I give her one-month discount,” the judge said.

The defendant’s lawyer also said that the defendant had an eight-year-old son, who is being cared for by Guillermo’s mother and mother-in-law back in the Philippines.

The domestic worker was arrested at around 10 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2017 when she put the ring inside her bag and walked out of the jewelry store without paying for it.

Testifying in court, the elderly Chinese businessman who owned the store, said Guillermo came in and saw the gold ring on their display drawer.

“She pointed to the ring and asked how much it cost. I calculated the price using the calculator,” the businessman said.

“She extended her arm. She grabbed the ring and put it in her bag while I was calculating. Then she took out her wallet,” he added.

The businessman said he told the woman that she had not paid for the ring and should give it back but “she ignored me.”

“She pretended to have done something in her wallet. I said, ‘Please take it out’ but she put her wallet in her bag and went away,” the shop owner said.

“Then I said loudly, ‘That Filipino maid took the ring and went away.’ My elder brother heard that and he chased after her,” he added.

A CCTV footage of the incident showed that Guillermo walked out of the shop and later ran when the shop owner’s elder brother chased her.

“Snatching! Catch her! Catch her!” the elderly man shouted as he ran after the Filipina. Bystanders eventually caught up with the defendant and brought her back to the store.

She offered to pay for the ring but the police were already on their way. During the police investigation, the woman remained silent.

Guillermo testified in court that she was about to pay for the ring when her mobile phone started vibrating and so she went outside.

“I was about to get the money but because I wanted to see my friend, I went out,” Guillermo said, adding that she planned to pay for the ring after meeting her friend.

She said she had $5,000 with her because she just got her salary. Guillermo added she wanted to give the ring to her husband who is working in Dubai.

But the prosecutor noted that, instead of answering the phone or calling her friend when she got out of the store, the domestic worker continued walking away before running when she saw the store owner’s elder brother chasing her.

“I did not think about it,” Guillermo said when asked why she did not redial her friend after going out of the store. She said she ran away because she was looking for her friend.

The prosecutor said the Filipino woman should have paid for the ring before putting it inside her bag.

“It’s not a wet market. You are not supposed to come and go casually. You expect the shop owner to wait for you for a day?” he added.

The prosecutor also noted that the phone number of Guillermo’s supposed friend was not found in her mobile phone.

“After I was taken to the police station, it was deleted. I don’t know how it was deleted,” she said.

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