Guilty plea over vandalism at police HQ

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2012, 12:00am


A man with a history of bipolar disorder yesterday pleaded guilty to spraying graffiti on a wall at police headquarters and throwing a can at an officer from a metal ledge.

Liu Chi-yan, 36, pleaded guilty in Eastern Court to one count each of criminal damage, assaulting a police officer and performing an act that may cause obstruction to a public place after the incident in November.

The court heard that on November 20, Liu climbed a ladder onto the ledge at Arsenal House in Wan Chai. He spray-painted Chinese characters on a glass panel in red and blue. Later, he threw a can of adhesive spray at a policeman and pointed a pair of scissors at him and another officer. Prosecutors also said he 'splashed his blood' at the scene.

During the six-hour stand-off, which started at 7am, police negotiators urged Liu to stay calm and firemen set up two air bags outside the building. The pavement was blocked. Police videotaped and took photographs of the incident as it unfolded.

The cost of cleaning the wall was put at HK$6,000.

Acting Principal Magistrate David Dufton adjourned the case to April 13 for sentencing. Liu was released on bail pending his sentencing.

The court previously heard that Liu had suffered from bipolar disorder since 2004 but that at the time of the incident he had been mentally stable and knew what he was doing. He had been attempting to attract media attention to his complaint against the police over their handling of a previous case.

The court heard Liu had three criminal convictions before yesterday's case and that two of them were related to violence. His previous conviction was in June 2008, when he was fined HK$5,000.

Barrister Robert Pang Yiu-hung said his client had submitted a cheque to compensate for the damage to the wall.