Hong Kong-based man who pushed woman onto railway tracks sentenced to three years and four months in prison
- Pakistani national Jamshed Qazi, 56, shoved cleaner Liang Youdi onto the tracks in an impulsive attack in October 2017
- Defendant says he had been drinking, but judge told him that was not an excuse
An alcoholic man who shoved a cleaner onto railway tracks was jailed for three years and four months on Thursday by a Hong Kong judge who told him his addiction was not an excuse.
Jamshed Qazi pushed Liang Youdi down onto the tracks in an impulsive attack at Yuen Long Light Rail Station on October 21 last year, causing her to suffer a broken arm and wounded chin. Qazi was under the influence of alcohol and pills, which he said he had taken as a result of his wife leaving him.
Sentencing the Hong Kong-based Pakistani on Thursday, District Court Judge David Dufton said he sympathised with Qazi, a former army cadet back home who turned to alcohol after experiencing trauma in life.
But the judge promptly added: “While alcohol may begin to explain the defendant’s conduct, alcohol cannot excuse his action.”
He said the jail sentence was appropriate, after noting that the attack had left Liang, from mainland China, unable to perform the simplest household chores such as wringing towels and lifting a teapot, even though her fractured left elbow had recovered.
The judged also noted that the woman, who has since returned home to the mainland, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had her dreams of an independent life shattered. Liang had wished to support herself financially, but the incident had left her dependent on her sister, which made her feel guilty, the judge said.
“Little imagination is required to imagine how terrified madam Liang was,” Dufton said, citing the nightmares and insomnia the woman suffered at the outset.
Qazi, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of wounding on August 4 at the District Court, almost a year after his attack on the woman.
His lawyers said in mitigation that the political science graduate, who moved to Hong Kong in 1997, developed a drinking problem when he had to quit his 12-year position as a senior law clerk at Jal N Karbhari & Co in Hong Kong.
Formerly a cadet with the Pakistan Army, he suffered a back injury during his military training, which had rendered him unable to sit for very long.
The problem was exacerbated by the death of his two brothers and a sister, who were murdered back home, said his lawyers.
He had received a number of treatments over the years for his drinking problem and depression during several stays at the psychiatric facilities at Castle Peak Hospital and Kwai Chung Hospital.
Qazi had 15 previous convictions, including five violence-related offences such as criminal intimidation and possession of an offensive weapon, the court heard.
Before the attack, his lawyers said, his wife had suspected him of drinking again just weeks after being discharged from Castle Peak Hospital. She left him, taking their 10-year-old son with her.
Qazi was later sleeping rough and needed police help to get in touch with his wife to gain access to his home and retrieve his medicines. He also once tried to overdose on drugs.
On the day of the incident in question, his lawyers said, Qazi had been drinking Chinese wine. On the light rail platform, he lost control and took out his frustration, stemming from his estrangement from his wife, on Liang.
The court also heard his wife, who was present at the sentencing, had since been reconciled with him.