Car show model Yuen Ching-ching made a tearful appeal in court against her conviction for stealing an Apple iPhone, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
Yuen, 24, who represented herself in the High Court, testified Wednesday she accepted the phone as a fee for providing company to a chef.
She said her agent introduced her to the man, who claimed to own a restaurant.
Yuen admitted tearfully that she was looking to receive gifts from the chef, who she felt was eager to develop a relationship with her.
She said the man offered to buy her presents and asked how much she would charge to have sex with him.
Yuen emphasized that it is very common for people in her industry to accept gifts.
She said that on one occasion when she went out with the chef, they went to the Chanel store at Times Square in Causeway Bay.
Yuen said she planned to buy about HK$40,000 (US$5,160) worth of handbags and accessories, but the final bill spiralled to over HK$200,000, as she had misread the price tags.
The chef told her he could not afford to buy the Chanel products but would be willing to give Yuen his iPhone 6 Plus, she said.
Yuen said she scratched the phone and threw it into the sea after the man kept harassing her with text messages and accused her of stealing his phone.
She asked the court to overrule her conviction, as she said the magistrate at the original hearing had been inclined to accept the chef’s statements, which wasn’t fair to her, since there was no closed-circuit television footage to back up the chef’s claims.
The chef had testified in the lower court that Yuen told him when they met on Dec. 19 that she would like to buy her mother a present.
When she had chosen her purchases, he said, Yuen told him her credit card was not working and asked him to pay on her behalf.
The chef said he replied that he did not have the credit limit to cover the HK$200,000 bill.
He said Yuen later borrowed his phone to make a call but never showed up afterward.
The chef called the police after trying and failing several times to get hold of Yuen.
Yuen was sentenced to a year’s probation for the theft.
The High Court will give its decision on her appeal later.
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