Worker caged for hiding camera in bathroom

Local | Sophie Hui 22 May 2019

A renovation worker was yesterday sentenced to three months in jail amid the controversy concerning the "catch-all" computer charge.

Lui Wai-man, 38, had been charged with obtaining access to a computer for criminal or dishonest gain for installing a video camera in a female client's ceiling.

But, the charge was changed to criminal damage, after the Court of Final Appeal last month set limits on the use of the computer charge, whereby the crime should not cover people using their own computers.

Lui pleaded guilty to criminal damage yesterday before acting principal magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei at the Tuen Mun Magistrates' Court.

The court was told that Lui knew the female client, who lives with her husband, daughter and her daughter's friends in a village house in Yuen Long.

Lui was hired to renovate the house in July 2017, but the female client later found a camera in a plastic box in the bathroom ceiling when she was changing the light bulb. She subsequently had to spend HK$300 to repair the ceiling.

In mitigation, Lui's lawyer said his client has a wife and 10-year-old son, and has to take care of his retired parents.

His lawyer added that Lui admitted to the offense and has turned over a new leaf.

He also admitted his actions were unethical, and apologized to the female client. Chui said the court could not ignore the defendant's actions as the incident was more serious than other criminal damage cases.

She added that Lui knew the female client and abused her trust to install a camera in the bathroom ceiling to film women when they were going to the toilet or taking a shower.

Chui said there were several women in the house, and Lui's actions seriously invaded their privacy. His psychological report also said the likelihood of him committing a similar crime again is moderate.

Chui said although Lui failed to record any indecent images or videos, it does not reduce the seriousness of his actions.

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