MANILA- A Filipina domestic helper was fined by a Hong Kong court on Friday after she admitted eating her employer's food.
Mildred Nilo Ladia, 40, was fined HK$800 (around P5,138.78) for eating meatballs valued at HK$100 (around P642.35), the South China Morning Post reported.
Ladia was cleared from another charge of allegedly stealing 2 pairs of leather slippers and a designer bag after prosecutors decided not to pursue the case.
The Filipina reportedly cried as she pleaded guilty to one count of theft and denied the other charge.
The South China Morning Post added that the Eastern Court heard that Ladia's then employer, barrister Gekko Lan Suet-ying, already deducted HK$100 (P642.35) from her statutory salary of HK$4,210 (P27,038.65) when she was arrested on May 2 last year.
Theresa Low, Ladia's lawyer, said the conviction is "devastating" since Ladia will be stripped of her eligibility to find work in Hong Kong.
Ladia is reported to be her family’s sole breadwinner and is supporting 3 children.
She worked for Lan since her arrival in Hong Kong in 2015 and has reportedly worked in Singapore, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia in the past.
Ladia reportedly appealed for an absolute discharge on the case but was rejected by magistrate Jason Wan Siu-ming, who argued that the offense was "quite serious" because it involved a breach of trust, according to the report.