A man who robbed a young girl after threatening her with a cutter and telling her a syringe he was carrying contained AIDS-tainted blood has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail.
Zhou Zexin, 37, deserved a harsh punishment for causing additional distress to his victim, a District Court judge said during sentencing, public broadcaster RTHK reports.
Zhou, a recovering drug addict, stole 400 yuan (US$60) and HK$200 (US$25.70) from the girl in the May 28 robbery in a pedestrian tunnel near the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin.
The fluid in the syringe turned out to be his own blood and was later found to contain no traces of the HIV virus.
The judge threw out the defense argument that Zhou was carrying a cutter because he was working for a home improvement company at the time.
Zhou had clearly staged the robbery intending to terrify his victim, the judge said.
His scare tactics involving the use of syringe purportedly filled with AIDS-tainted blood is a popular street scam in Shenzhen.
Zhou had moved to Hong Kong from the mainland in 2012 but financial difficulties and a troubled marriage caused him to relapse to his drug habit, the court heard.
He carried out the robbery under the influence of heroin after a fight with his wife, his lawyer said.
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