Sai Kung District councillor Christine Fong Kwok-shan has been cleared of assault, after a judge ruled she “wouldn’t dare to strike” Elizabeth Quat during a protest against the lawmaker at a private Tseung Kwan O residence. Acquitting Fong, Kwun Tong magistrate Don So Man-lung said on Monday morning that the councillor would not be silly enough to assault the lawmaker in front of cameras, some of them held by her own supporters, at Beaumont estate on July 3, 2014. Instead, he said: “She was contained. She wouldn’t dare to strike.” The court heard earlier that although Fong had held banners and attempted to tail and block Quat during the protest, there was no evidence showing she had physically assaulted her. Fong, 49, was charged with one count of common assault on the basis that her behaviour, prosecutors alleged, might have brought instant fear to Quat. The ruckus was sparked by Quat’s failure to indicate her voting intention on a funding proposal for expanding the Tseung Kwan O landfill. READ MORE: Nazi banner and shouts prompt court to fine Christine Fong over landfill protest The prosecutors alleged that Fong’s behaviour made Quat think she was going to hit her. But So said if the district councillor were to launch an assault, she could have done so at the start and so there was nothing for Quat to fear. He said it might be a publicity stunt that Fong staged for the voters, but she had no intention of assaulting her political enemy. Nonetheless, he added: “It doesn’t mean the court thinks what the defendant did was appropriate.” He noted Fong could face civil liability for protesting on private property, adding that it would also be a different story if she was found blocking the food and environmental health department staff who were with Quat on the day. READ MORE: Landfill expansion approved after filibuster battle Fong was accompanied at court by her godfather, actor Bowie Wu Fung. Outside court, she said the case had plagued her for about two years. “It has made my team and people who support me worried,” she said. She said the incident stemmed from the proposed expansion of the landfill in her district, and urged the Legislative Council “not to go overboard” when exercising its duty. She said she would be calmer in the future so that she would not become a target of similar incidents. Fong is contesting the upcoming Legco by-election in New Territories East with social worker Nelson Wong Sing-chi, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Holden Chow Ho-ding, independent candidates Albert Leung Sze-ho and Lau Chi-shing, Hong Kong Indigenous candidate Edward Leung Tin-kei, and Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu.