Four teenagers armed with bamboo sticks robbed four young women of an iPhone 4 and HK$200 in Tuen Mun last year, but were so afraid afterwards that they discarded the phone before being arrested, a court heard on Wednesday.
Leung Ka-ho, 16, Kong Chun-hong, 14, Li Kai-yu, 16, and Leung Man-kin, 14, pleaded guilty at the District Court to two charges of robbery and one charge of assault with intent to rob.
They told police that they “had eye contact with an unfriendly crowd around midnight” and had picked up the one-metre-long bamboo sticks at a park “in preparation for self-defence”, prosecutor Rebecca Lee said.
On October 12, the four young men saw four young women outside the Tuen Mun park at about 2.45am, the court heard.
Leung suggested to his three friends that they rob them. Using the sticks they had picked up earlier, they confronted the women, seizing a backpack from one victim and an iPhone 4 from another.
During the robbery, Leung’s stick snapped and he resorted to hitting them with his fists.
The teenagers then fled the scene, dumped the backpack after finding HK$200 in it and used HK$78 on drinks at a 7-Eleven convenience store.
But the sight of a police car panicked the group, who discarded the iPhone beneath a staircase. They were nevertheless caught by police officers soon afterwards and confessed immediately, the court heard.
The four victims were treated for swelling and bruises on their heads and shoulders at Tuen Mun Hospital. Police recovered the iPhone and everything in the backpack except HK$78.
Barrister Susanna Lee, representing the two minors, asked for their case to be passed to the Juvenile Court. Judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi exercised his discretionary power and rejected the request.
Chan will sentence the four on February 12, pending reports from a detention centre, reform school and training centre.