Probation for graffiti attack on police HQ

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 April, 2012, 12:00am


A magistrate placed a man who sprayed graffiti on the police headquarters on probation for 15 months yesterday, after noting his 'unfortunate psychiatric history'.

Liu Chi-yan, 36, earlier 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 November incident.

On November 20, Liu climbed a ladder onto a 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.

In 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.

The court previously heard that Liu had suffered from bipolar disorder since 2004. However, at the time of the incident he had been mentally stable and knew what he was doing.

Asked yesterday whether his family had a history of psychiatric illness, Liu said he 'would not deny it'.

Acting Principal Magistrate David Dufton said there was 'no doubt' the offence was serious and assaulting a police officer could lead to an immediate jail term.

He sentenced Liu to probation after noting a probation officer's positive report about him, as well as his previous service to the community, and Liu and his family's psychiatric history.

Dufton said Liu must receive psychiatric or psychological treatment and attend any programmes conducive to his rehabilitation that his probation officer ordered. Liu was also ordered yesterday to pay the HK$6,000 it cost to clean the wall.

Liu said after the sentencing that on the day of the incident, he might have been affected by drugs he had been prescribed.