A senior police officer who had planned to retire this month is likely to lose his pension after he pleaded guilty to a charge of theft on duty.
Ho Ying-yin, 54, was accused of stealing two Octopus cards left in two vehicles at the Police Vehicle Detention and Examination Center in Kowloon Bay where he worked on Jan. 16 and 22 this year, Apple Daily reports.
Ho has been with the police force for 36 years and awarded multiple commendations. He would have been qualified for retirement after his birthday on Dec. 24.
But the officer, who was caught by in-house surveillance cameras stealing the Octopus cards, admitted the offense before a magistrates’ court on Wednesday.
He has been suspended from the service.
His lawyer asked the court for leniency, saying the defendant was not accustomed to his new post at the time and was looking for a way to alleviate stress from his family, adding that he very much regretted what he did.
But Judge Lin Kam-hung said the defendant’s crime was not only about the victims’ loss of HK$148.1, but also about the breach of citizens’ trust in the police, Sing Tao Daily reported.
It will be difficult for the police to maintain peace and order in society if citizens do not trust them, Lin said.
Calling the case serious enough to damage the reputation of the entire police force, Lin said there is no more reasonable punishment for the defendant than incarceration, and ordered him remanded in custody.
Sentencing has been set on Dec. 28.
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