Tai Kok Tsui in Kowloon.
Photo: Google Maps
Tai Kok Tsui in Kowloon. Photo: Google Maps

A 33-year-old Indian man who pleaded guilty to a violent robbery in Kowloon was sentenced to 13 years jail by the High Court on Tuesday.

Singh Gursevak, an asylum seeker, was arrested after he robbed a foreign-currency exchange shop in Tai Kwok Tsui with another man in June 2016 and made off with HK$350,000 (US$44,586) in cash, Oriental Daily reported.

Gursevak and the other man attacked the shop owner with a knife when he was closing his shop. The victim suffered cuts in his back, legs and right hand when he resisted.

The defense lawyer urged leniency, saying the defendant was unable to work in Hong Kong but he needed to raise money to support his father in India. He claimed the defendant did not get any monetary reward, just a bottle of whisky after the robbery.

The defendant also told the court he did not stab the exchange shop owner – the other man did. However, Judge Susana Maria D’Almada Remedios did not believe this, saying his bloodstains were found on the knives used during the attack.

The judge said it was a serious robbery case because the defendants had planned the crime beforehand.

She chastised the defendant as cruel, cold-blooded and having no sympathy because he stabbed the victim from behind on his legs so the shop owner could not chase him.

The victim’s right hand was almost detached after he was stabbed and he had suffered nerve damage and a bone fracture. The man could not recover fully and the case had left him troubled and anxious.

Given the seriousness of injuries that the shop owner suffered and the fact the defendant was an asylum seeker, the judge gave a sentence of 13 years and three months.

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