Domestic worker admits stealing from Quarry Bay department store
A 30-year-old Filipino domestic worker this morning admitted to shoplifting from a department store in Quarry Bay.
Defendant Donalyn A.T. pleaded guilty to stealing several items, worth a total of $1,500, from the Aeon department store in Kornhill, Quarry Bay.
“Guilty,” Donalyn told Eastern Deputy Magistrate Leona Chan Pui-man this morning (January 15).
The domestic worker admitted to taking two packs of coffee, chocolate, oil, a hoodie, t-shirts, and baby shoes without paying for them.
The prosecutor said the incident happened at around 3:35 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2018 when a security guard in civilian clothes noticed Donalyn’s suspicious behavior.
“She was seen taking the two packs of coffee and putting it in her recycling bag. She then went out of the store without paying,” the prosecutor said.
The guard went after the domestic worker and accosted her outside the store. Besides the coffee, the other stolen items were also found inside the recycling bag and her backpack.
When asked to produce a receipt to show she paid for the Aeon products, she could not present any.
“Upon the defendant guilty plea, I convict the defendant,” said Judge Chan.
Donalyn’s lawyer asked for leniency, adding that she was a mother with two children—a 10-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter—and also provides support for her father and brother back in the Philippines.
The lawyer added that she came here in 2015 to work as a domestic worker and she is still employed by the same employer, who was at court this morning.
“She sends home $2,500 to $3,000 of her monthly salary to the Philippines to support her family,” the lawyer said.
Noting that Donalyn had a clear record and she pleaded guilty before trial, Judge Chan decided to impose a fine instead of sending her to jail.
“I have considered the facts of the case and your clear record. The amount involved—$1,500—is a considerable amount,” Judge Chan said.
“Your biggest mitigation is your guilty plea and I give you a one-third discount so your total fine is $2,000,” she added.
Donalyn cried in relief after hearing that she was not going to jail.
“Akala ko makukulong ako (I thought I was going to prison),” she said.
Donalyn said she could pay the fine within the day after her $500 bail was deducted from the $2,000 fine imposed on her.
While Donalyn was able to avoid prison, she would have a hard time applying for another contract to work as a foreign domestic worker since she now has a criminal record here in Hong Kong.