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Occupy Central

Judge denies reduced jail term for ex-soldier who hurled entrails at media boss Jimmy Lai ‘to protect Hong Kong’

Judge says ‘strong urge’ to protect Hong Kong is no excuse for behaviour during Occupy protests

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 May, 2017, 11:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 May, 2017, 3:54pm

A judge has refused to reduce the jail sentence of a restaurant owner who threw entrails at media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying in the name of “preventing crime” during the Occupy protests in 2014.

In 2015 Yip Wing-chi admitted one count of common assault on Lai, founder of Next Media, and was found guilty of an assault on another protester. He appealed against his 15-week ­sentence, arguing it was too long given he was only trying to stop Lai from occupying a street in Admiralty.

Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling rejected his plea for leniency and jailed him immediately.

Ex-soldier hurled entrails at media boss Jimmy Lai ‘to protect Hong Kong’, court hears

“Whether those who initiate or take part in Occupy have committed a crime or should be convicted of a crime, et cetera, have to be ­determined by legal procedures,” she wrote in her judgment.

“Hong Kong upholds the rule of law, and [Yip] cannot proclaim himself as the law enforcer just ­because he had been a British ­soldier and boasts a strong urge of protecting Hong Kong.”

Barnes said there would be chaos in society if the court failed to punish ordinary citizens who took the law into their own hands.

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She also rejected the appeals of Chan Kwok-hung and Li Siu-lung against their sentences of nine and 18 weeks respectively for the same attack.

Li unsuccessfully ­appealed against his conviction.

Lai was reading in a tent when he was hit by the bag of offal, staining both his skin and clothes.

Defence lawyers said Yip was at the pro-democracy protest site to search for his son, who was ­supposed to go and sweep the grave of his mother.

They said Yip lost his temper when he saw Lai, and dismissed the attack as being premeditated.