Young robber sent to centre

A TEENAGE mugger who belonged to a gang responsible for a string of violent attacks, including the stabbing of a police officer, was sent to a training centre yesterday.

Mok Chui-mo, 19, turned to crime after falling into bad company, the District Court heard.

Vernon Eaton, prosecuting, said off-duty policeman Ma Hing-shue was stabbed when he tried to rescue his girlfriend from the robbers.

The court heard the couple was waiting for a taxi in Fu Mei Street, Kowloon, after a night out at the cinema on August 30 last year.

One of the muggers grabbed the officer's arms from behind, held a knife to his groin, and told him: 'Don't move, robbery.' The policeman decided to fight back when he saw that another gang member had grabbed his girlfriend, Cheung Mei-har.

He called out 'stop, police' but was stabbed in the thigh by one of the robbers before they escaped.

Mok later admitted taking part in the robbery and accepted that he had carried a knife. But he denied being responsible for the stabbing.

This attack was one of three carried out in the space of two hours that day.

Mok was arrested on September 18 after taking part in a fourth attack. Mr Eaton said Lam Sau-kiu, 50, was on her way home at 5.45 pm, when she was ambushed by three young men.

'They pushed her to the ground and assaulted her with punches and kicks,' he said.

The robbers snatched two gold wrist chains worth $2,350, said counsel.

The victim dialled 999 and police in the area chased after the robbers.

Mok was arrested when he was spotted by a police officer emerging from bushes covered in mud. He admitted being involved in the mugging.

Mr Eaton said Tsui Lok-kei, a cook, was set upon as he returned home at around 3 am on August 30 last year.

One youth used an arm to grab his neck. He fell to the ground and was kicked in the face and back.

His wallet was snatched before the three robbers fled. The victim suffered bruises and cuts to his forehead, left eye, cheek and nose.

Earlier that morning Chung Yim-ho was attacked from behind while on her way home. Mr Eaton said one youth grabbed her neck and two other young men appeared in front of her, one of them armed with a knife. They searched her handbag before running off.

Mok admitted taking part in the robbery but denied holding the knife.

Terence Wai, defending, said Mok had committed the crimes on the spur of the moment.

'He was under the influence of his accomplices and under the influence of drugs,' Mr Wai added.

The court heard Mok, of previous good character, had been so traumatised by his arrest that he had attempted to commit suicide by swallowing rat poison and detergent.

Mok pleaded guilty to three robberies and one charge of assault with intent to rob.