Lamppost protest over hurt thumb

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 May, 2002, 12:00am

A prisoner had to be talked down from a 10-metre lamppost after a three-hour protest over compensation for an injured thumb.

The 27-year-old man, who is scheduled to be released next Monday and sent back to the mainland, threatened to jump from the top of the lamppost in the recreational area of Pik Uk Prison in Clear Water Bay Road at about 8.30am.

Correctional Services Department (CSD) staff called in fire and police officers at about 9am when he refused to come down and became emotional.

'Two air cushions were inflated below the lamppost and a CSD negotiator was lifted up by a fire engine's extension platform to talk to the inmate,' a department spokesman said.

Officers said the illegal immigrant injured his left thumb while working in the minimum-security prison's workshop in July last year and was worried he might not get an ex-gratia payment for his injury before being repatriated to the mainland.

The spokesman said the injury made the prisoner's left thumb two per cent disabled and the department had applied for funding from the Government to issue the payment for the injury.

He refused to disclose how much money was involved.

The illegal immigrant was convicted in connection with a burglary case in 2000 and sentenced for three years and three months in jail.