A 38-year-old Filipina domestic worker has received a suspended jail term for breaching her condition of stay by managing an unlicensed guesthouse in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. Her employer was acquitted.
Pamela Mae Soriano was jailed for nine weeks, suspended for 12 months on Wednesday at Eastern Magistrates Court for two counts of breaching her condition of stay and one count of managing a guesthouse without a certificate of exemption of a license, sunwebhk.com reported.
Magistrate Vivian Ho said the prosecution had successfully proved the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt on all charges.
However, the elderly employer, Tse Wing-leung, was acquitted as the prosecution was not able to establish his guilt as Tse was not present in the guesthouse during the two nights that an undercover police officer had rented a room.
Officers who gave evidence in court earlier said they raided the guesthouse on July 11 last year after confirming that the Filipina was illegally managing the unlicensed guesthouse which was part of a flat owned by Tse.
In mitigation, the defense lawyer said Soriano was a mother of two who had separated from her husband and was the sole breadwinner of her family in the Philippines that included her sick mother.
The lawyer pleaded for a lenient, non-custodial sentence, citing the Filipina’s financial situation.
In sentencing, Ho said she realized that the maid could not have committed the offense on her own.