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Saturday, Jul 24, 2021

Finger biter waits in jail for sentence

Finger biter waits in jail for sentence

A University of Hong Kong graduate who bit off the ring finger of a sergeant during clashes at a Sha Tin shopping mall has been remanded in jail custody after being convicted on all charges against him.
District court judge Johnny Chan Jong-heng found 24-year-old To Kai-wa guilty on all four charges at West Kowloon courts yesterday.

To, reportedly a paralegal, earlier pleaded not guilty to his charges - disorderly conduct in a public place, assaulting police officers, inflicting grievous bodily harm and wounding with intent - on July 14, 2019, at New Town Plaza, Sha Tin.

He bowed and waved goodbye to his supporters in the courtroom before he left the dock. His mother cried and consoled relatives sitting beside her.

He was convicted of assaulting police constable Ip Cheuk-hin and inflicting grievous bodily harm on Superintendent Leung Tsz-kin.

He also wounded Sergeant Keith Leung Kai-yip and bit off his right ring finger.

Keith Leung had testified that when he was trying to subdue To by pressing him to the floor, he used his finger to put pressure on To's upper lip.

"It's like he wanted to rip off my finger," Leung said, when he described how he felt a sharp pain when To was biting his finger while moving his head from left to right.

Leung realized his finger had been bitten off when he withdrew his hand.

Prosecution witness neurologist Yu Yuk-ling described the strength of To's bite as powerful and said he intended to bite with full force at the time.

However, a neurologist on the defense side, Yuen Man-ho, said To's brain did not have sufficient time to identify the sergeant's finger and the bite was a spontaneous response from shock or pain.

The judge dismissed Yuen's claim and accepted Yu's opinion that To should have had a reflex action of loosening his mouth at that time, but the defendant did not and instead overcame the reflex action to intentionally harm Keith Leung.

To did wound with intent, Chan said, because the defendant couldn't think that the "foreign object" that had entered his mouth was any other body part than the sergeant's finger.

On the inflicting grievous bodily harm charge, Chan said To did cause grievous harm because Leung Tsz-kin's bone fracture was not minor and his finger has not fully healed after a year.

The hearing was adjourned to March 12 for mitigation. The sentence will be given three days later.

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