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Parallel trading

No jail for Hong Kong woman who assaulted policeman with breast

Ng Lai-ying, 30, gets sentence changed to community service after judge learns she bumped officer with chest only to help boyfriend

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 11:27am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 September, 2016, 10:49pm

The woman who made international headlines last year for using her breast to assault a policeman was spared jail by a Hong Kong court on Monday.

Ng Lai-ying, 30, was originally jailed three months and 15 days, but was instead ordered to serve 200 hours of community service after successfully appealing against her sentence for assaulting Chief Inspector Chan Ka-po last month.

At a protest in Yuen Long against mainland parallel traders on March 1 last year, Ng used her breast to bump Chan and subsequently yelled “indecent assault”.

She failed to overturn her conviction last month, but was told she would be sentenced again after Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes found that Ng was only trying to get boyfriend Kwong Chun-lung off the hook on the day.

Kwong, 20, who obstructed Chan, was sentenced to 12 months of probation.

Their co-defendant Poon Tsz-hang, 22, and a 16-year-old boy, who was 15 at the time and therefore has not been named, were sentenced to 200 hours of community service and 12 months of probation respectively.

They all failed to appeal against their convictions, but won the bid against the original heavier sentence imposed on them.

Sentencing the four, the judge urged the then “reckless and impulsive” Ng to listen to the probation officer to be supervising her.

“Do not perform the duty just fine ... You need to perform it up to others’ expectation,” she told Ng.

The judge warned all four not to commit new offences during the sentencing, and told the boy specifically to avoid people probation officers advised against.

Outside court, Kwong said they would continue to take part in protests in the future.

“Caring [about] society is a civic responsibility,” he said.

But he added that they would comply with the law and be reasonable.

During the trial, the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Court heard the boy was the first to bump the inspector with his shoulder on the road at Sau Fu Street. Kwong obstructed Chan when he tried to stop the inspector from catching the boy.

Chan accused Ng of assaulting him by bumping him with her chest and yelling “police indecent assault”, when she tried to make Chan let go of Kwong.

The case made international headlines, and women’s rights protesters took to the streets to express their bewilderment as to how Ng could have used her breast as a weapon.

Anger at parallel traders in Hong Kong ran high last year in districts near the border as mainlanders used multiple-entry visas to bring goods, such as baby milk formula, home to sell at a profit. It caused crowding and shortage of the goods, sparking a wave of protests.