Now Playing: Spending with $0

Black Money Rolling In

Lung, aged 20, frequently went to nightclubs on the Mainland to have fun and to take drugs. He gained the trust of a drug dealer and was allowed to take some drugs back to Hong Kong for sale. Lung invited friends to his home for drug parties.

Lung also took some extra cash from an ATM machine. He thought he was enjoying good luck, but is that the case?

The Cough Syrup Driver

Dragon, a 17 years old boy, has a habit of consuming cough medicine with his friends. They even drove someone else’s car for excitement…

The “Gift” Credit Card

Jaycee and his friend, Hayden, found a lost wallet. They thought it was an opportune gift, but instead, the wallet is leading them into trouble.

The Principal’s Thieves

Fai and Ming came to know that the school stored expensive lost property and confiscated items in the Principal’s Office. They decided to sneak into the Principal’s Office…

The Little Drug Dealer

Ho Ming, a Form 4 student, wanted to earn quick money. He decided to become a drug dealer at school. What problems and tragedies will he create?

Case in Brief

Yin wanted to buy his girlfriend a birthday present. But he hasn’t got any money. His friends decided to offer him a “helping hand”.

Yin and his friends also went to a restaurant to “celebrate” their success in getting the present. But how can they settle the bill when they have got no money?


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  1. What crime has Tsz Hin committed? If the court finds him guilty, what punishment is he likely to face?

    Tsz Hin has committed theft. He has dishonestly appropriated (taken) the pokers from the shop intending to permanently deprive the shop of the pokers.

    The offence is serious because of the element of planning and his recruitment of others to help him steal the pokers. Because of his young age the court will want to impose a sentence that leads to his long term reform and rehabilitation.

    Assuming this is his first offence, there is family support, he is suitable for probation and there is a positive recommendation for probation, this is what the court would probably order. Tsz Hin would then be under the supervision of a probation officer for the period specified in the probation order. If Tsz Hin does not co-operate with the probation officer or commits another offence during the period of probation, he would breach his probation and that could re-open the question of sentence for the theft of the pokers. This could lead to the substitution of a detention centre order or a rehabilitation centre order for the probation order.

    For more details regarding different sentencing options for young offenders, please click here.

  2. Have Yin and his friend committed a crime?

    By helping Tsz Hin steal the pokers Yin and his friend have joined with him in an enterprise of theft. They knew what he intended to do and, knowing that, they provided direct and meaningful help. Though some of them did not benefit from the crime, they are all jointly involved in the theft. They will be charged with theft jointly with Tsz Hin.

  3. What crimes have Yin and his friends committed? What punishment they may have to face?

    The restaurant expected Yin and his friends to pay for the food they consumed before leaving the restaurant. All of them have left the restaurant without the bill being paid. The way they left the restaurant indicates a dishonest intention to permanently avoid payment. Yin and his friends have committed the offence of making off without payment contrary to Section 18C of the Theft Ordinance (Chapter 210).

    The maximum penalty for this offence is three years’ imprisonment. Because of the young age of the offenders the court will want to impose a reformative sentence.

    Yin is the ringleader and the making off comes on top of the theft. In his case the court might well consider a detention centre is appropriate and in his best long term interests, assuming he is assessed as mentally and physically fit for a detention centre. If he is not assessed as suitable for a detention centre, a Rehabilitation Centre or Training Centre Order might be considered if the court feels he needs a longer period of training and reformation.

  4. If there are really problems with the food of an eatery and I refuse to pay, do I violate the law?

    If there is a genuine grievance about the food in an eatery, a complaint should be made to the management and an attempt made to reach an amicable agreement.

    Refusing to pay because of a genuine grievance is very different to dishonestly making off without payment intending to avoid paying. Refusing to pay because of a genuine grievance would be seen as a civil dispute rather than a criminal offence.