A 43-year-old police sergeant lost his career, pension, marriage and more because he could not resist the temptation of gambling.
Cheung Wai-lun, who joined the force in 1992 and was promoted to sergeant in May last year, was sentenced to two years in prison by the District Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to a charge of theft, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The court heard that Cheung disappeared from the Wan Chai Police Station with HK$1.07 million in bail money on May 2 when he was the acting duty officer.
He was arrested by Guangdong police on Aug. 1 and then repatriated to Hong Kong.
Cheung admitted in court that he had absconded with the money and gambled it away in Macau.
He said he did so because he was desperate and thought gambling was the only way he could pay back the debts he owed to five finance companies.
He had borrowed money to gamble and play stocks but ended up losing it all.
Seeking the court’s leniency, his lawyer asked the judge to free Cheung so that he could use his salary and pension to repay the stolen money.
But Judge Eddie Yip refused, saying Cheung has been fired and there is no way he could use the amount that does not belong to him as compensation, news website hk01.com reported.
Yip also said Cheung should have expected the consequences of his choice to yield to his vice.
Cheung’s wife divorced him after he committed the crime.
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