The authorities say he's obstructing a path; he says he has to park off the road to sell his ice cream. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is prosecuting Chu Chung-wah, 53, saying his ice-cream motorcycle blocked half the width of a 2.5 metre pedestrian path in Salisbury Road near Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier on December 19 last year. Chu was one of the 61 successful applicants out of about 3,700 for an ice-cream hawker licence when the department started issuing them last year for the first time since 1993, and is the first to be prosecuted for obstruction. According to the department's case, which was described in Kwun Tong Court as Chu appeared for his plea hearing yesterday, the positioning of the hawker's vehicle on the path forced pedestrians to walk around it or cross the road to get past. The department alleges that Chu's motorcycle occupied a 1.2m by 1.2m space on the footpath. However, Chu contends that the path was 3.5m wide, that he did not block any pedestrian movement, and that he is allowed to sell ice cream on pedestrian paths. 'The street was large enough that [the motorcycle] would not cause any obstruction on it. I sell ice cream with a fridge that is attached to a motorcycle, so I have to sell on a pedestrian path,' he said in court. He said outside court that the department had not specified where, under the itinerant hawker licence, hawkers may station themselves to sell ice cream. The department said only that hawkers must ensure they did not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular movement. If he sold ice cream on a road, he would block motor vehicles, so Chu said he did so on the footpath. Chu pleaded not guilty to pedestrian obstruction yesterday. The department has further accused him of hawking a commodity not specified in his licence for selling candy sticks on the same day, which he also denies. Magistrate Abu Bakar bin Wahab scheduled Chu's trial on the two charges for May 25. The department will call one witness, and Chu said he might call a police officer and a journalist who were at the scene that day. Chu says the officer told him that he was not obstructing the space when a department officer told him he was. Chu attended his court hearing with a group of supporters, including members a dairy products union, and Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing. Chairman of the Dairy Products Beverage and Food Industries Employees Union Cheung Chee-hung said thus far, Chu was the only itinerant ice-cream hawker known by their group to have been charged with road obstruction by the department.