A 17-year-old student in Hong Kong was remanded in jail by a court on Tuesday after he admitted to carrying a petrol bomb and hammer near a crime scene during a protest four months ago.
The defendant, Choi Tsz-kit, was arrested at around 5am on November 11, the day when radical protesters caused citywide traffic disruptions in a campaign that aimed to bring the city to a standstill.
Tuen Mun Court heard Choi was among three people in the vicinity of an MTR Light Rail station in Tuen Mun vandalised by anti-government protesters, but no evidence showed that the student from Youth College of the Vocational Training Council took part in defacing the railway facility.
Police officers subdued the defendant after a chase, but were unable to catch the other two. They found a petrol bomb in Choi’s backpack, and seized a 35cm hammer which he dumped on the ground during the run.
Choi pleaded guilty to possessing offensive weapons in a public place, an offence which is accompanied by a custodial sentence.
His lawyers told Acting Principal Magistrate Cheung Kit-yee the backpack did not belong to him, and Choi had only intended to carry it for other protesters temporarily. They added it was an out-of-character incident and the defendant was sorry.
Cheung adjourned sentencing to April 14 to assess the student’s suitability to receive correctional training in either a rehabilitation or detention centre.
The law stipulates that offenders of the charge under Section 33 of the Public Order Ordinance must be handed a custodial sentence, unless they are aged below 14.
Nobody was charged in relation to the vandalised MTR Light Rail station.