Tuesday, December 15, 2009

beauty queen bowls over middle aged Hong Kong judge




Another grave miscarriage of justice in Hong Kong?Should the employer have been fined and banned from employing any more domestic helpers? Another case of ingrained racism against other Asians in Hong Kong?

Beauty and the maids (From The HK Standard)

A one-time runner-up in the Miss Hong Kong pageant, who is said to have hired and fired 45 maids in five years, has accused three of her current four maids of stealing almost 150 items of children's wear from her home.

Diana Lee

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A one-time runner-up in the Miss Hong Kong pageant, who is said to have hired and fired 45 maids in five years, has accused three of her current four maids of stealing almost 150 items of children's wear from her home.

The maids Marites Alberto Saddaran, 34, Aubrey Leal Garcia, 25, and Ginavilla Velasco Gongob, 41 have pleaded not guilty to stealing the clothes from the Old Peak Road home of 45-year-old Winnie Chin Wai-yee between August and November 3.

Appearing in Eastern Magistracy yesterday, the maids suggested Chin second in the beauty pageant in 1981 was a shopaholic and that she frequently asked them to get rid of unwanted clothing.

They also said Chin, who is married to banker Ma Ching-yeung, had a bad attitude and often used abusive language including calling them idiots with no brain.

Her husband is a member of the Tai Sang Bank's Ma clan. The couple have two sons and a daughter.

Quoting figures from the Philippine consulate, the maids' defense lawyer claimed Chin had hired and fired 45 maids from 2004 to 2009 a figure that Chin disputed.

Chin, a merchant, claimed the maids took 79 shirts, 46 trousers, three skirts, three jackets, 15 pairs of shoes and two rucksacks together worth more than HK$30,000.

In her testimony, Chin said she had thought in October that some of her children's clothes had gone missing but did not suspect anyone. Then she saw Saddaran put a pair of her eldest son's sports shoes under the bunk bed in the maids room that she shared with Garcia on the evening of November 3.

Chin said that when Saddaran was questioned in front of the other maids she confessed and begged for another chance.

After a report was made to police, Chin said, more children's clothes were found in cabinets the three defendants used. The other two maids then allegedly admitted their involvement.

The maids' lawyer suggested that Chin was addicted to shopping, which sometimes resulted in arguments with her husband.

Because of her purchases, the lawyer claimed, Chin had to clear her children's wardrobes two to three times a year. On that, Chin said that I think shopping is a woman's prerogative.

But she insisted she did not shop that frequently and denied having arguments with her husband.

Asked if she would from time to time ask her maids to dispose of unwanted clothes, Chin said she never allowed her maids to keep her children's clothes nor did she give them gifts.

I would store my eldest son's clothes for my second son, Chin said. Those that were not needed I gave to my relatives.

Chin also said she fired about 30 maids during the five-year span. Some had left on their own accord having failed to meet her requirements.

In one case, Chin said, she suspected a maid had stolen money, and other maids in the household resigned in protest when she decided to report the case to the police.

Chin admitted that one former maid had gone to the Labour Tribunal and had won her case.

Magistrate Henry Mierczak ruled the three maids had a case to answer. The case continues today.


UPDATE-RTHK
Three maids of ex-beauty queen convicted

16-12-2009
Three Philippine maids, who worked for a local celebrity, have been found guilty of theft and jailed for three months. Their employer, a former Miss Hong Kong runner-up, Winnie Chin, accused them of stealing some of her children's designer-label clothes - worth $23,000. The maids said they had been given the items. The magistrate, Henry Mierczak, sided with Ms Chin, saying she had been an honest witness - and that the maids had engaged in theft for a period of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment