Eight people were yesterday jailed for up to five years for rioting near the Tsim Sha Tsui police station during the 2019 social unrest as a magistrate criticized them for "utterly disregarding the law."
The court also issued an arrest warrant for a ninth defendant, Law Wai-lok, 29, who failed to show up after he secured a short bail extension to undergo Covid
West Kowloon Court magistrate Kathie Cheung Kit-yee sentenced the six men and two women after they were convicted of 15 counts for their roles in a fierce clash between protesters and police on October 1, 2019.
Media footage shows one of the convicted, Lee Chui-ting, 22, on Nathan Road just before 4pm, heading towards the police station to join a crowd of about 1,000 protesters.
The footage also shows Law holding a petrol bomb at about 4.20pm before setting it alight and throwing it in the direction of the station. Between five to 10 petrol bombs are seen to follow, causing the building to catch on fire as protesters attack a police vehicle.
"The protesters throwing petrol bombs and hard objects at the police station - and even throwing tear gas back - were utterly disregarding the law," Cheung said. She added that the eight wore dark clothing to conceal their identity, while some of them wore protective gear and possessed offensive items.
Cheung set five years in prison as the starting point for the sentences.
"To maintain social order and protect the public interest, the court must impose a deterrent sentence for the crime of rioting. Immediate imprisonment is the only option for this case," she said.
Cheung then reduced their sentences - ranging between 55 to 60 months - on account of their young age and previously clean records.
The other seven defendants were Ho Sin-hang, 22, Yeung Yam-to, 24, Fong Wing-man, 28, Sung Chiu-pang, 27, Lui Kin-cheong, 32, Wong Yim-yuen, 25 and Chan Man-chak, 22.
Meanwhile, a former paramedic, Au Yeung Chun-fai, 31, was sentenced to 28 months in jail for the unlawful and malicious wounding of a mainland bystander while rioting in Mong Kok on November 11, 2019.
Magistrate Leung Ka-kie said the cruel attack lasted for nine minutes.
He also said Au Yeung had been an ambulance worker for over three years at the time of the incident, but the assault was against his career ethic.