Two men have admitted assaulting a South China Morning Post photographer as she took pictures of parallel-goods traders in Sheung Shui in February.
In Fanling Court yesterday, Cheng Shing-wing and Li Hak pleaded guilty to one count each of common assault, but they denied they were parallel-goods traders. Magistrate Wong Sze-lai postponed sentencing to May 14. The two were released on bail.
In February, Post photographer May Tse was taking pictures from a footbridge outside Sheung Shui MTR station when the two rushed up to her from the ground floor. Cheng, 52, slapped Tse and shoved her left shoulder, while Li, 51, shouted foul language at her, the court heard. Tse told the men that she was a photographer, but Li continued to shout at and push her. She suffered injuries to her head, left knee, nose and right eye in the incident.
Steven Liu, representing Cheng and Li, said the pair had been school friends and were with another friend at the time of the assault.
That friend was carrying six boxes of chocolates which were gifts for a gathering, and Cheng and Li were trying to help her with them, Liu said.
The two men told Tse they were not parallel-goods traders, and had been irritated by her camera flash, Liu said.
He described the incident as a "misunderstanding", saying it was not in the defendants' characters, he said.
The men were willing to pay Tse HK$2,000 compensation each.
Cheng works as a decorator, earning HK$15,000 a month and his wife works in the health supplements industry.
The couple have a 22-year-old daughter.
Li earns HK$12,000 a month as an aluminium worker, and has two daughters.
His eldest daughter, 27, is a politician's assistant, but it was not disclosed for whom she worked.