The court heard that the defendants – Wong Ying-kit, Tang Wai-sum, Ng Wai-nam, Tang Ying-bun and Choi Lap-kin – were among groups of people who, using items including rattan and wooden sticks, assaulted people in the Yuen Long MTR station, the YOHO Mall, and Ying Lung Wai on the night in question.
Judge Eddie Yip said Wong had encouraged others to join the riots, while the other four were main perpetrators in the riots.
The court dismissed Ng’s claim that he had merely acted as a mediator between two groups of people that night, saying there was nothing he could have done to help the situation as he wasn’t a villager in Yuen Long and wasn’t a police officer.
The judge also said footage showed Ng patting Tang on his arm and had kept eye contact with him. This, the judge said, showed they had a common purpose to attack black-shirted people at the scene.
The judge also rejected Wong’s claim that former pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting had been “stirring up trouble” in the Yuen Long station, saying video footage showed that Lam had only been comforting people there.
He said instead of criticising stick-wielding white-shirted people, Wong only scolded the black-shirted group, adding that Wong had encouraged others to join the riot and attack the black-shirted people.
Two other defendants, Lam Koon-leung and Lam Kai-ming, had earlier pleaded guilty.
The court will hear mitigation for the seven on July 13 and 14, and sentences will be handed down on July 22.
The judge also cleared a 54-year-old man, Wong Chi-wing, of rioting and wounding with intent. He said video footage could not confirm that he had been at the scene.
The attacks on July 21, 2019 saw dozens of people being sent to hospital.
The police came in for heavy criticism following the attacks for their slow response, despite the emergency 999 hotline being flooded with calls. Officers eventually arrived at the scene once the mob had dispersed.
The force has since described the violence as a fight between two evenly matched sides, and said it should not be characterised as an indiscriminate attack.
Last updated: 2021-06-18 HKT 17:21