Fake-ID guard gets jail despite outcry2015.05.11
AFRAIL 73-year-old man who was sentenced to four months in jail for using fake identity cards so he could continue to work as a security guard had his appeal against his sentence thrown out by the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Court (屯門裁判法院).
Shih Chiao-jen (施教仁) first bought a fake identity card in 2008 at the age of 66 in Shen-zhen (深圳), so he could continue working as a security guard for three property management companies.
He earned a total of HK$540,000 using the fake IDs, which showed he was born in 1952 and 1955, when he was actually born in 1942.
Prominent barrister Cheng Huan (清洪), representing Shih pro bono, asked the court to show mercy, arguing that Shih had already been jailed for 33 days and his health had deteriorated since his incarceration. Cheng said the medical report showed that apart from high blood pressure and diabetes, he also suffered from kidney disease.
Shih should be released or have his sentence shortened or suspended, as he had already learned a ‘bitter lesson’, he said.
Cheng also provided 300 letters from people pleading for leniency. Hundreds of well-wishers sent cards of support to Shih and his wife and some came attached with more than 1,000 supermarket cash coupons and cake coupons. Some cards also had meal vouchers included.
Saying the four months’ sentence was already lenient, acting principal magistrate Li Wai-chi (李唯治) said he could not understand why the public had displayed such a strong level of discontent.
(The Standard, 6 May 2015)