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  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 2:26am
NewsHong Kong

Man jailed 8 months for setting pet dog on fire

'Cold-hearted' computer technician doused dog in paint thinner and set it aflame in cruelty case the magistrate said was the worst he has seen

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 February, 2013, 3:50am

A magistrate yesterday jailed for eight months a man who doused a dog in paint thinner and set it alight, saying it was the worst case of animal cruelty he had seen in 20 years on the bench.

Computer technician Mok Chung-ting, 30, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of cruelty to an animal at Tuen Mun Court for setting fire to the six-year-old mongrel, named Siu Wong. The pet dog had to be put down.

"The defendant was extremely cruel and cold-hearted to the animal," said Acting Principal Magistrate Li Wai-chi. He said he had to give a deterrent sentence.

Cruelty to animals carries a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$200,000.

The harshest previous sentence reported for animal cruelty was six months' jail. Senior public prosecutor Franco Kuan Bak-on said that Mok's sentence was the heaviest of any reported case of animal cruelty.

The dog's owner told the media after the ruling that Siu Wong had been a good dog and that it was still difficult to think about the incident. "There must be a sentence. As for whether it's light or heavy, that's up to the judge," the owner said. "If you had seen it, you would be frightened, too; you would also be scared." The incident occurred on September 1 last year. Siu Wong had been a family pet kept in a backyard in Kei Lun Wai, Tuen Mun. Water was thrown on the burning dog, but the damage had been done. It suffered burns to its face, head and body, and its chances for survival were judged to be slim. The dog was euthanised after a vet said it was suffering an inhumane level of pain.

Siu Wong was being kept 140 metres from Mok's flat, on the 15th floor of a block in Siu Hong Court. Mok earlier said the dog had disturbed him with its barking. Despite two reports to the police, the barking did not stop. The night before the burning, he told the court, the noise had prevented him from sleeping.

"A dog barking is very normal," the magistrate said. "In the New Territories, you'll hear dogs bark, birds chirping. Not being able to sleep does not mean you can harm them. " He later added: "Animals, like humans, have a right to life … What's more, this is man's best friend." The degree of suffering the canine endured was "hard to put into words", he said.


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My learned magistrate, please visit our friends across the border, you will see worse cases of cruelty to animals.
"The worst case of animal cruelty he had seen in 20 years on the bench" and the magistrate only sentences the defendant to 8 months in jail?? For the love of god, what does one have to do to an animal to get the maximum of 3 years in prison!? Shame on Hong Kong courts and that magistrate Li Wai-chi, 8 months is NOT a deterrent sentence!
The dog's owner should be jailed for the same amount of time for allowing his dog to be a nuisance.
Pre-comment declaration of commentator’s self-interest
as a long-term keeper of pets
This man needs the service of W Reid
See the advertisement?
Black Hawk down and the same kind of special retention treatment
like that for Nancy K
If only Mok Chung-ting were Maugham Christine
Then consular intermediation and appeals all the way to CFA
And we’d begin to see how / why it was all a misunderstanding
Penalty, if any - a slap on the wrist like 40 hours community service
But most probably released Scot free with the right to sue for the dead dog’s nuisance
that had caused the killer's insanity
How could you do that to a dog? I'm absolutely horrified, crying my hear tout here. You could have done that to a human, so you need to be sent ot a mental health institution to learn how to control your and manage your anger. You need to learn how to deal with sticky situations, what to say, think and feel. Outbursts of this kind will not go away and may even be compounded during your spell in prison. The decent thing to do is to ask for help if you cannot control your animal. There are plenty of willing organisations here in Hong Kong who have nothing but love in their hearts for animal oweners in distress. But to take your frustration out on a poor innocent dog in this manner is unforgiveable. I hope you learn to control your emotions in prison, otherwise you will permanently pose a serious threat and danger to society. Sending you to prison isn't going to do anything but act as a deterrent to others. You need psycholgical help and follow up after you leave prison, to ensure that you no longer pose a long term threat to society or can hold a position of authority and trust without being monitored.
Wonder what will lead to a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$200,000 as this was the worst case of animal cruelty he had seen in 20 years on the bench but that only lead to jail for eight months.


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