HK protests: student caught with petrol bombs jailed for a year while twin brothers get seven weeks for criminal damage

19-May-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 9:40 AM Print This Post

Three Hong Kong men were on Monday jailed for up to a year for vandalism and weapons offences during anti-government protests last year, while 15 others appeared in court, charged with rioting near Polytechnic University, scene of one of the most violent episodes of the unrest.

The jailed trio, including twin brothers, were sentenced to between seven weeks and a year behind bars on Monday.

At West Kowloon Court, Open University student Lee Hoi-ching, 23, was handed a 12-month prison term for possessing five petrol bombs during an unauthorised protest near Mong Kok Police Station on the night of October 31.

The court heard protesters had blocked roads and set fires in the district. Lee, who pleaded guilty to one count of possessing offensive weapons in a public place, joined 40 black-clad protesters at an illegal gathering at the junction of Shanghai Street and Arran Street.

Police officers subdued Lee after a chase, and found five petrol bombs inside his rucksack.

A probation officer described Lee as an antisocial person who had no intention of obeying the law.

Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen set a starting point of 18 months’ jail and cut it by one-third to reflect Lee’s guilty plea.

At Tuen Mun Court, 21-year-old twin brothers Leung Ho-long, a photographer, and Leung Tsz-long, a student, were sentenced to seven weeks’ jail after they pleaded guilty to one joint count of criminal damage.

The court heard that on September 7, the two defaced seven card readers, a surveillance camera, two ticketing machines and two monitors at the Wetland Park Light Rail station in Tin Shui Wai. Their crime was recorded by CCTV cameras and they were subsequently arrested. Rail operator the MTR put the damage at HK$230,000 (US$29,487).

Under caution, younger twin Leung Tsz-long said he and his brother were given hammers and gloves by unknown perpetrators to damage the MTR facilities. He said he committed the offence out of impulse.

Defence lawyers urged the court to accept the probation officer’s recommendation and impose a community service order on the brothers.

However, acting Principal Magistrate Cheung Kit-yee said only a jail term could reflect the gravity of the crime, which had the aim of paralysing traffic and the daily lives of other people.

She shaved eight months from a starting point of 15 months’ jail because of the brothers’ guilty pleas and the fact they had fully compensated the railway company over the incident.

Meanwhile, 15 men and women, aged between 16 and 61, appeared at Eastern Court for the first time to face riot and weapons-related charges over a protest near Polytechnic University while the campus was under siege last November.

They are accused of rioting on the section of Nathan Road between Gascoigne Road and Jordan Road in Jordan on November 18.

They included YouTube blogger Auman Yick Chek-bong, 26, and cleaner Chu Wai-hung, 42.

Three also faced additional charges of possession of instruments fit for unlawful purposes, with teacher Yiu Chun-fai, 34, accused of carrying 787 plastic cable ties at Woosung Street. Two others were accused of carrying offensive weapons such as a hammer and a device capable of emitting a laser ray.

Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai granted them cash bail of up to HK$3,000 until the next hearing on August 17 at West Kowloon Court, where prosecutors would apply to move the case to the District Court.

The 15 defendants added to some 250 who had been brought to court for different charges over protests near the university.


Category: Hong Kong

Print This Post

Comments are closed.