• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 5:45pm
NewsHong Kong
COURTS

Man who slapped activist outside court sentenced to community service

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 1:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 5:08am
 

A man who slapped a pro-independence activist outside court in June was sentenced to 120 hours of community service yesterday, after withdrawing a claim that he was unfit for physical work.

Chan Ngok-yuen, 59, smiled and waved as he left court holding a bouquet of flowers, apparently given to him by his supporters, some of whom had flown in from the mainland.

Chan last month pleaded guilty to one count of common assault in Eastern Court, close to where he slapped activist Billy Chiu Hin-chung on June 19.

The attack took place when Chiu, the founder of pro-independence group Hongkongese Priority, chanted slogans and waved banners with his supporters before entering the building for a hearing. Chiu was sentenced on that day for trespassing in the People's Liberation Army barracks in Central last year.

The activist was slapped twice on his left cheek, causing him to lose balance and fall to the ground. He was sent to hospital for a medical check-up after being sentenced to two weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months.

Reading from a court report yesterday, Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai said Chan had originally told a probation officer that he was unfit for community service due to "advanced age" and the burden of medical appointments.

But defence lawyer Patrick Tam Kin-yip said: "My instruction is that he is willing to do it now."

Tam told the hearing last month that his client carried out the attack "out of momentary impulse" when he was walking past the court and heard Chiu call for independence for Hong Kong.

Chainrai found that Chan's offence was not politically motivated but was serious, as "it went beyond freedom of speech".

As well as the community service, she ordered Chan to pay HK$500 in court expenses.

Chan was accompanied to court by a dozen supporters who said they were part of a patriotic group that had formed over the internet. One member said he had flown in from Shanghai to support Chan, though he did not reveal his identity.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
This nasty old guy who slapped Mr.Chiu outside the Eastern Court should be jailed instead of social services only ! He did it before several cops ignoring our law and order !
chaz_hen
"Patriotic group" in HK is now equal to gangster thugs?
nmp_inc
What a mockery of Hong Kong's rule of law. Jail time for protesters and assailants skate with community service. This is essentially a 'go signal' to the other extremist pro-government forces in Hong Kong to attack democracy advocates and religious dissidents because all they'll get is a slap on the wrist. The SCMP framing of the attack as a slap is also ever bit as disingenuous as its earlier framing of what those folks did as "breaking in" when all it was was simple trespassing - and maybe not even that since the gate was wide open. Very dubious things occurring within the legal system these days.
oxymoron15
I take not political sides, knowing slapping this kid is wrong, but it's also the next best thing to 0-r-g-a-s-m when watched on TV. Slap him silly and slap him hard, oh what an immeasurable guilty pleasure. Perhaps if this 'founder' of this so called pro-independence group is more physically presentable, eloquently capable and charismaticly tantalizing, he would be greeted with hugs instead of slaps. He failed on all counts to what it takes to be a poster boy and the downfall (literally) is unfortunate but justifiable.
dharmakarma
Now this is comedy of an epic proportion. This guy is sentenced to a community service for providing a community service?
Dai Muff
Revealing to see the pro-Beijing guys here cheering on violence, when they spend all the rest of their time arguing that it's Occupy Central who "might" be violent. As I've said before, history has shown us which side uses violence most freely.
ejmciii
The tragedy is that no one could slap some sense into you, grasshopper.
mh0908
Same feeling here. I know it is wrong to advocate violence but a slap is very different than say a punch. The slap is very much like a parent teaching the son a lesson.
oxymoron15
I take not political sides, knowing slapping this kid is wrong, but it's also the next best thing to **** when watched on TV. Slap him silly and slap him hard, oh what an immeasurable guilty pleasure. Perhaps if this 'founder' of this so called pro-independence group is more physically presentable, eloquently capable and charismaticly tantalizing, he would be greeted with hugs instead of slaps. He failed on all counts to what it takes to be a poster boy and the downfall (literally) is unfortunate but justifiable.
davidsum
What do you expect?. 1 month jail for 2 slaps, that 15 days per slap.
As for the "Trespassing", well in USA, you can be killed in with the "Stand your ground law".

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