Hong Kong protests: Teen given probation for carrying extendable baton to anti-government demonstration

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  • The 15 year-old brought the item to an unauthorised gathering in Causeway Bay over the now-withdrawn extradition bill
  • Another teen admitted to throwing petrol bombs at a police headquarters in Chai Wan in November
South China Morning Post |
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The two cases were heard seperately in juevenile court.

A 15-year-old Hongkonger was given 15 months’ probation for carrying an extendable baton to an anti-government protest last year, while another boy of the same age admitted in court to firebombing a police residence during the unrest.

The two teenagers, both Form Four pupils, pleaded guilty in separate cases at the Juvenile Court of Eastern Magistracy to respectively possessing an offensive weapon, and arson.

The court heard that one of the teenagers brought a baton, which measured 64cm (25 inches) when extended, to an unauthorised rally in Causeway Bay on September 15, as thousands of demonstrators defied a police ban and took to the streets to protest against the now-withdrawn extradition bill.

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Around 3.30pm, police intercepted the boy outside Causeway Bay MTR station, where officers seized the baton and found other protest paraphernalia in his possession.

Magistrate Ho Chun-yiu put the boy on probation for 15 months, and ordered him to obey a daily curfew between 8pm and 6am, and receive regular psychiatric counselling.

He told the boy: “The law permits you to express your views, but first and foremost, you cannot break the law. Whenever you break the law, you will be punished by the law.”

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Before the same magistrate, the other teenager admitted setting fire to Chai Wan Police Married Quarters on November 18, the day violent clashes broke out between radical protesters and police outside Polytechnic University in Hung Hom.

Prosecutors said the boy, together with an unidentified female, each hurled a petrol bomb at the police building after 4pm, leaving burn marks on its walls and windows. A passer-by subdued the boy while the female fled.

Defence lawyers said in ­mitigation the boy came from a broken family and was autistic.

Ho adjourned sentencing to July 14 pending assessments on the boy’s suitability for probation or a community service order.

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