A former community worker at Hong Kong’s largest pro-establishment party has been jailed for one year for slashing a reporter and a passer-by, after shouting support for the city’s police at a demonstration four months ago.
Kwun Tong Court sentenced Kwong Sing-yu over the attack in Kwun Tong on the night of June 12, where the 27-year-old property agent went for the two men with a paring knife he had just bought.
Lawyers for Kwong, a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said he knifed his victims after a heated exchange over differences in political views, adding the attack was not planned.
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That assertion was dismissed by Principal Magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei, who pointed out that Kwong had intentionally unsheathed the knife immediately after buying it, and put it in his pocket so he could use it in a conflict.
“The court will not condone the act of using such a dangerous item to assault others because of a quarrel,” Chui said.
Kwong pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count each of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and wounding. He also admitted being in possession of a Part-I poison for Viagra tablets, which were found among his belongings following his arrest.
The court heard the attack took place at a temporary public light bus terminus in the district, when demonstrators chanted slogans while gathering at a street booth on the first anniversary of an extradition bill protest outside the Legislative Council on June 12 last year.
Kwong engaged in a dispute with about 10 protesters at around 9.10pm, during which he shouted “Support the police” and injured an Epoch Times reporter covering the protest, as well as a young cook, who suffered a deep cut in the left hand that kept him in hospital for three days.
Upon Kwong’s arrest, police found he had 2½ tablets of sildenafil, a listed Part-I poison sold under the brand name Viagra, in his rucksack.
On Friday, the court heard Kwong had bought the knife just 12 minutes before the attack.
Defence lawyer Jeff Ho Chun-lui said his client had bought the knife at his mother’s request, adding he had removed the knife’s sheath to check whether it had any scratch marks on it, before “casually” putting the sharp object into his pocket.
But Magistrate Chui found the explanation unreasonable, saying Kwong should have sheathed the knife afterwards if he only intended to take a look at it.
“The court found that you, the defendant, had purposely put the knife inside your pocket so that you can, depending on the situation, easily take it out to intimidate others or defend yourself,” the magistrate told Kwong in the dock. “Your action was very dangerous and unwise.”
Chui set a starting point of 4½ months and 18 months in jail, respectively, for attacking the reporter and the cook.
She passed a total jail term of 12 months in consideration of Kwong’s guilty plea, and his contribution to the community during his eight-year service at Shun Tin Estate as DAB’s community officer. She also fined Kwong HK$1,000 (US$129) for carrying the prohibited drug.
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