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Judicial CP - July 1954

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 11 July 1954

Sentence For Robbery In Garden Road Deferred Till Friday

Two Sailors Guilty

Pending Medical Report

Two 19-year-old sailors of H.M.S. St Bride's Bay were found guilty by Judge A.D. Scholes at the Victoria District Court yesterday of "what appeared to be a carefully thought-out robbery" of a pedestrian in Garden Road on the night of May 27.

Saying that he was satisfied that [sic] victim spoke the truth, and that the accused did not appear to be truthful witnesses, Judge Scholes told Able Seamen John Joseph Flynn and Peter Wilkinson: "I consider it brutal -- this attack on an innocent passer-by at night."

Sentence was deferred until 2.30 p.m. on Friday, pending a medical report.

The charge was that they had robbed Lai Chi-chu of a pair of binoculars and leather case, and 70 cents, with aggravation.

Mr J.C.B. Slack of Messrs Hastings and Co. was for the defence. Mr J. McRobert, Crown Counsel, prosecuted.

Giving evidence on his own behalf, Wilkinson said that on the night of the incident he and Flynn bought a bottle of gin, and had drinks together at the Luk Kwok Restaurant.

Later, they went towards the Peak Tramways and walked up Garden Road. There they met a Chinese, and Flynn asked the man for a light. While complainant was striking a match, Flynn staggered against the man, who put out his hand. As a result, Flynn fell against him (Wilkinson).

Victim hit

Accused said it looked as if complainant had struck Flynn, so he hit complainant, who fell. When he started rising, Flynn hit him again and he fell once more.

Wilkinson said he and Flynn then started walking off, when he noticed a pair of binoculars lying on the ground. He picked them up but threw them away almost immediately.

In his closing address, Crown Counsel submitted that complainant had given a reasonable story which fitted into the whole pattern of events much more easily than did the story of the two accused.

Defence Counsel submitted that it was admitted that an assault did take place, but the Prosecution had to prove that the two accused had actually robbed the complainant, and this had not been proved.

Judge's Decision

Giving his decision, Judge Scholes commented on veracity, and added: "From the facts, it appears to have been a carefully thought-out robbery."


His Honour was satisfied with complainant's evidence that the binoculars were taken from him and that accused had gone through his pocket.

Mr McRobert told the Court that Flynn and Wilkinson had no previous record. He wished, however, to draw the Court's attention to the appalling increase of this type of crime by servicemen, and asked it to take a serious view.

The accused's superior officer said that both men had good characters in the Navy.


South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 17 July 1954

Sailors Sentenced

Three Years, Ten Strokes For Robbery

Remarking that the accused were not worthy of the uniform they wore, Judge A.D. Scholes sentenced two able seamen of HMS St Bride's Bay to three years and ten strokes of the cane for robbery with aggravation.

The two accused, Peter Wilkinson, 19, of Aldbrough, Hull, and John Joseph Flynn, 19, of Liverpool, were convicted by Judge Scholes four days ago and sentence was deferred pending the receipt of medical reports.

Judge Scholes commented that the accused were convicted of a most serious offence, the maximum penalty for which was life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. "I consider this a planned robbery aggravated with assault."

The accused were found guilty of robbing Lai Chi-chiu of a pair of binoculars in Garden Road on the night of May 27.


The Judge ordered the sentence to date from May 27, when they were arrested.

blob Follow-up: 11 September 1954 - Sailors Win Appeal: Prison Sentences Quashed But Caning To Be Carried Out

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 17 July 1954

Gaol And Cane For Snatcher

press cuttingFor snatching a gold earring from a child, Chan Ha, 18, unemployed, was sentenced to nine months and six strokes of the cane by Mr T. Creedon at Kowloon yesterday.

Inspector Wong Hai-man said the 18-month-old child was being carried on her mother's back in Jordan Road when Chan snatched a gold earring the child was wearing. He was chased and arrested. The earring was found hidden in his mouth.

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 22 July 1954

Market Pitches Dispute

"Stupid boy" gaoled

Slashed Woman Hawker With Razor Blade. Four Years and Cane

For slashing a woman's face with a razor blade during a quarrel over pitches in Western Market, a hawker, Li Wong, nicknamed Mung Chai ("Stupid Boy"), was given four years and 12 strokes of the cane by Judge A.D. Scholes in the Victoria District Court yesterday.

cuttingAnother accused, Leung Sui-hung, alias Leung Chi-hung, was given six months for helping Li escape by obstructing his pursuer.

The Judge ordered both sentences to date from the day of arrest.

According to the Prosecution, conducted by Insp. T. Kavanagh, the complainant Wan Wai-lan, an unlicensed vegetable hawker, was chased away from her pitch in the Market last year by Leung by threats of a beating-up. Leung later handed over the pitch to the sister of the first accused, also a vegetable hawker.

On May 21 Wan Wai-lan returned to her pitch and displayed vegetables for sale. The first accused and his sister displayed their vegetables in front of hers and attempted to drive her away again. When she refused to move, first accused slashed her face with a razor blade.

A neighbouring hawker attempted to chase first accused but second accused put his body in the way and Li escaped up the Market steps. He was not arrested till June 14. Leung was arrested on the spot by the Police. The razor blade was found on the steps of the Market.

Medical evidence was that the woman had several gashes across her face and chest, some of them two or three inches long leaving permanent scars. She was in hospital for six days.

First accused, Li, admitted the charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but Leung denied being an accessory. He maintained that he was away from the scene of the quarrel and took no part.

The Judge found him guilty after hearing the evidence.

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 23 July 1954

Cane For Hooligan

A Crime For Which A Magistrate May Award Corporal Punishment


cuttingRemarking that larceny from the person was one of the few crimes for which a Magistrate could award strokes of the cane, Mr Justice J. Reynolds, Acting Puisne Judge, dismissed an appeal for reduction of sentence by Mang Man, 19, in the Appeal Court yesterday.

Appellant was sentenced to 15 months and 12 strokes of the cane on two charges of larceny from the person.

His Lordship added that one of the women who the appellant attacked was pushing a pram, and there were two other young children with her at the time. The two charges were not the only offences he had committed; he admitted previous convictions also for larceny, and in addition was a deportee.

The Judge considered the sentences well merited.

Appellant was charged at Kowloon Court with stealing a wrist watch (valued at $450) from Mrs Read on June 6 and with stealing a wrist watch (valued at $320) from Mrs Halpin on June 3.

Unfit Plea

Appellant asked for reduction of sentence on the ground that he was unfit.

Mr Justice Reynolds said, regarding this plea, that this was a matter which the Prison authorities would attend to. If appellant was found unfit at the time the strokes were to be administered the corporal punishment would not be inflicted.


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