Duo jailed for conspiracy to MIPO over introduction of unauthorised articles into prison
An officer of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) and a former inmate, charged by the ICAC, were today (November 8) each sentenced to four months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistracy after admitting conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office (MIPO) in relation to the introduction of unauthorised articles into a prison for the former inmate.
D1, 44, Assistant Officer II (AO II) of the CSD, and D2, 37, former inmate of the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre (LCKRC), pleaded guilty to a joint charge of conspiracy to commit MIPO, contrary to Common Law, while the prosecution offered no evidence to the same charge against D3, 33, girlfriend of D2.
In sentencing, Acting Principal Magistrate So Wai-tak said the offence committed by the defendants was serious in nature, and reprimanded the AO II for breaching the trust placed on him by the CSD.
The acting principal magistrate also said approval had to be obtained from the Commissioner of Correctional Services for introduction of articles to inmates, otherwise it would affect the order of prisons and safety of its officers.
The acting principal magistrate added that he reduced the jail terms to four months from the starting point of six months after taking into account their guilty pleas.
The case arose from a corruption complaint referred by the CSD. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offence.
The court heard that at the material time, D1 was an AO II of the CSD posted to its LCKRC. D2 was an inmate remanded in the LCKRC under the direct supervision of D1, while D3 was his girlfriend who paid regular visits to him in the LCKRC.
Between November 6, 2016 and January 22, 2017, D1 received an unknown quantity of facial cleanser, gel mask and face cream; one lip balm stick; and strawberries and Japanese snacks from D3.
D1 brought one facial cleanser and one lip balm stick out of those items or articles into the LCKRC and passed them to D2 without the authorisation of the Commissioner of Correctional Services, while keeping one bottle of facial cleanser, one bottle of gel mask, the strawberries and Japanese snacks for his own use and consumption.
D1 was arrested by the ICAC on January 22, 2017. In a search operation at his home, a quantity of facial cleanser and face cream as well as Japanese snacks were recovered.
When interviewed under caution by ICAC officers, D1 admitted that D3 passed those items or articles to him for bringing them into the LCKRC for D2. D1 kept some of them for self-consumption as suggested by D3, the court was told.
The CSD had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.
The prosecution was today represented by Acting Senior Public Prosecutor Janice Cheuk, assisted by ICAC officer Matt Cheung.