Hong Kong – A Filipino domestic helper has been found guilty of stealing around HKD 10,000 (PHP 61,138) worth of items, mostly designer and branded clothes, from her former employer.
Shatin Deputy Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan sentenced R.A. Pelongo to six months’ imprisonment for the clothes and an old mobile phone of her former employers in Ma On Shan.
Pelongo was the domestic helper of the complainant, a businesswoman Mrs. Tong, from 2011 to 2015. She then found another employer on September 2015 after Mrs. Tong refused to extend her contract.
A month after finishing her contract, Pelongo broke up with her girlfriend Michelle, also a domestic helper, and that was when her troubles began.
Michelle’s sister Gemma contacted Tong and informed the latter that Pelongo allegedly stole items from her and had given it to Michelle as gifts.
Gemma said she found Mrs. Tong’s name, address, and phone number in the remittance slip that Pelongo left in the boarding house that she, Michelle, and Gemma previously shared near Tai Po.
Gemma met Tong in Tai Po to show her the goods, which the latter recognized as some of her items, including her son’s missing HKD 2,000 in cash. She decided to call the police.
In court, Tong identified several items that belonged to her and her family, which included an old Nokia phone, and clothes from Burberry, Emporio Armani, and Brooks Brothers, among others. She said that whenever she would ask Pelongo about an item she wanted to wear, the latter would say she could not find it.
Pelongo’s lawyer claimed that Tong gave the clothes to the defendant and told her she could either throw them out or keep them. Tong denied the statement, adding that she was looking for those items and that some of them were in mint condition because she had yet to wear them.
Asked why she did not report the missing items to the police and why she even wanted Pelongo to extend her contract for another two years, Tong said she was not aware that the Filipina was stealing from her and that she had no evidence.
Conversely, Gemma told the court that after Pelongo and Michelle broke up in October 2015, she started suspecting the source of the gifts. After she and Pelongo came to blows, she went to the police to report her suspicions.
On the other hand, Michelle told the court she suspected Pelongo of stealing a gold necklace fromher wallet.
Pelongo denied the allegations. She claimed that Mrs. Tong and her family gave the clothes and mobile phone that were submitted as prosecution evidence. She also denied giving the clothes to Michelle because of the difference between the latter’s and the ex-employer’s body size.
Source : HongKongNews