A Vancouver billionaire pleaded guilty today to charges stemming from a night of sex and smoking cocaine at his mansion.
Ting (David) Ho, 60, pleaded guilty to the unlawful confinement of a woman at his home and possessing an unregistered loaded Glock 9-mm. pistol.
The charges arose from an incident at Ho's Vancouver home on Dec. 28, 2008.
Ho, who founded the now-defunct Harmony Airways airline in Richmond, also had been charged with possessing cocaine but that charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
Crown prosecutor Elliot Poll said Ho contacted the woman over a chat line, picked her up in Delta and drove her to his Shaughnessy mansion on Hudson Street, where they smoked cocaine, did some role playing and had sex.
When she tried to leave, Ho prevented her from leaving his bedroom and his home.
"He was pushing her and confining her but didn't strike her," the prosecutor told a judge this morning.
The woman called her father after 4:30 a.m., saying: "Dad, help me - I'm on a bad date."
The father heard his daughter saying, "Let me out, let me out!"
The father also heard a man's voice in the background.
The Crown told the judge that the woman was unable to leave Ho's bedroom but eventually slid out of her shirt to get away and fell down some stairs.
He tried pulling her back by the upper arms and ankles.
She went to the garage wearing only her bra and panties and sat in the car she arrived in.
She called 911 from her cell phone but did not know the address.
She went outside and a neighbour called 911.
There was snow on the ground as police arrived.
"He was trying to let him drive her home," defence lawyer Len Doust said of his client.
"He wanted initially to settle her down and drive her home," the lawyer said.
"He was constantly telling her he would drive her home."
Doust said the woman suffered agoraphobia and a fear of being murdered.
Ho triggered her fear that night, the lawyer said, adding that the woman admitted "her conduct that night had nothing to do with Mr. Ho."
Doust said Ho didn't want the woman to leave without her shoes, socks or coat because she would be subject to the elements.
When she locked herself in his car in the garage, Ho repeatedly offered to drive her home, Doust said.
She got away but fractured her heel and suffered other minor injuries, including a torn ankle ligament.
Ho also pleaded guilty to breaching his bail when he was found possessing a switchblade knife on Feb. 12 last year while going through airport security.
Doust said Ho is a very wealthy man who has had bodyguards in the past and has a handguin for his own protection.
"This is not a gangster carrying a gun in a secreted manner," the defence lawyer said.
"It was purely for self-protection, which was reasonable, but it was unregistered," Doust said.
As for the switchblade, that was an accidental mistake because Ho was heading to Chona and threw his things into an old carry-on bag and didn't realize the knife was inside, Doust said.
The Crown and defence made a joint request for a suspended sentence, one year of probation, a $5,000 fine and 45 hours of community service and drug and alcohol counselling.
Ho at one time owned Grey beverages, which makes Pespi in B.C.
Ho also previously owned the high-end dealership MCL Motor Cars.
He continues to live in Vancouver and has extensive business interests in China, his lawyer said.
Ho turned to apologize in court to the woman.
He unlawfully confined but she wasn't there.
His lawyer said Ho's reputation has suffered because of the incident.
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