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May 4, 2011

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Injunction bans thief from bars

A THIEF was banned from going to game parlors and bars and buying luxury goods after he was given a sentence with probation yesterday.

Liu Yuan, a 30-year-old local, became the city's first criminal to have an injunction imposed in addition to a criminal sentence.

An amendment of the Criminal Law, which came into effect on May 1, includes a new clause that gives courts powers to prohibit people who receive sentences with probation from going to certain places or meeting certain people where there would be temptation to commit crimes.

Criminals on probation are supervised by police and judicial officers and undertake public during the period. The ban is lifted once probation is served, according to the law.

"Injunctions will help prevent criminals committing new crimes during probation and also let them receive education out of prison," said Guo Weiqing, director of the Xuhui District People's Court that handled the case.

Liu, a jobless man, introduced customers to certain bars and was paid commission.

On the night of February 6, he and his friend Cao Kan, who is being dealt with in a separate case, took a friend surnamed Zhang to Gaga Bar on Tianyaoqiao Road.

Zhang felt drunk and went to the bathroom, leaving his down coat on the seat. Liu and Cao stole Zhang's coat and found a Gucci wallet inside.

They took 300 yuan (US$46) in cash from the wallet and withdrew 5,000 yuan using Zhang's bank card after guessing the code, based on the victim's identification card in his wallet. Liu was detained in March.

He expressed regret at the hearing yesterday. His parents, who live below the city's poverty line, returned 4,000 yuan for him.

Considering his parents are in poor health and Liu's "good attitude," the court sentenced him to six months in prison with one year's probation.

Because Liu had a gambling habit and often visited entertainment places, the court banned him from entering bars and game parlors during the probation period.

And as he liked to buy expensive items, under the injunction he is prohibited from purchasing such goods.

If Liu violates the injunc-tion, he will be sent to prison, judges said.

Zhu Yizhen, a chief judge of the criminal court under the district court, said it was still a challenge for the judicial department to supervise such criminals. She suggested applying electronic tags.

Also yesterday, two minors involved in theft were banned from contacting their accomplices. One of the duo was told by the Changning District People's Court they must not spend a night away from their home overnight during the one-year probation period.

The pair stole four mopeds and a laptop last year.


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