COURTS

Hong Kong student facing jail after he admits posting threatening message about a police officer's daughter

Magistrate warns defendant, 20, he faces jail time for posting messages online

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 March, 2015, 12:10am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 March, 2015, 12:10am

A magistrate on Monday strongly condemned a student for posting online a threatening message about a police sergeant's daughter, stressing that the courts were committed to protecting officers.

Deputy Magistrate Winston Leung Wing-chung told Tong Wai-leung - who posted the message claiming triads were willing to pay HK$600,000 for the daughter's arm and leg - that the court "has to protect [the police]".

He added: "[This is] so that they can feel safe and more confident in carrying out their duties."

Tong, 20, yesterday pleaded guilty at Eastern Court to obtaining access to a computer with criminal intent.

His offence, the court heard, was a result of his anger at the sergeant's alleged mistreatment of protesters during last year's Occupy sit-ins.

Prosecutor David Chan told the court that on October 18, Wong left the message on the Golden Forum website.

The message was left on a thread linked to a Facebook page containing the daughter's photographs and contact details.

Yesterday, Tong, an engineering student, was warned he faced jail, despite the fact that he said at the bottom of the message it was not a real threat.

His counsel, Crystal Chan, said the message was a "repost" from another post on the forum, which Tong had altered.

She added that Tong had demanded that the site's administrators remove the post 12 hours after he posted it.

The court heard that Tong had been diagnosed as autistic when he was a child. He was also deeply apologetic about the incident in a letter he wrote to court.

The magistrate ordered a probation order report and a community service report before sentencing on April 13.