Construction worker who whistled at police gets six weeks in jail for assault

Magistrate ruled imprisonment was needed because Ki had two records of similar offences

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 12:48pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

A construction worker found guilty of assaulting three police officers by whistling loudly at them during a July 1 protest last year was sentenced to six weeks in prison on Tuesday morning.

Magistrate Ho Wai-yang said in the Eastern Court that Ki Chun-kei’s offence was not the most serious kind of assault. But Ho said imprisonment was needed because Ki had two records of similar offences more than a decade ago, for which he already served time.

Ho said she could not see any reason for suspending the term. She noted that the three incidents were unrelated, no police officers suffered permanent injuries and Ki did not use anything other than his fingers when committing the offence.

The court earlier heard that Ki’s whistling caused a ringing in two auxiliary police officers’ ears, while a third officer immediately took a step back.

On one occasion, Ki, 50, whistled into an officer’s right ear from less than 30cm away. The officer earlier told the court it caused a ringing in his ear, leaving him unable to hear clearly for two to three seconds.

In mitigation, lawyer Pauline Leung Po-lam cited three doctors in the psychological and mental health reports that Ki was alcoholic, and that might affect his decision-making ability.

“The offence was not made after detailed planning. He had perhaps become impulsive after drinking,” she said, noting that Ki had drunk alcohol on the day of the protest.