Man found guilty in ear-biting case

A jury on Wednesday found a man guilty of all four charges he faced in connection with an incident in Tai Koo Shing two years ago in which then district councillor Andrew Chiu had his ear bitten off.

Joe Chen, 51, was charged with three counts of wounding with intent and one count of common assault.

Chen was accused of biting off Chiu’s left ear and stabbing a couple – Wan Ho-lun and Leung Pik-kei – outside Cityplaza on November 3, 2019. Chen was also accused of assaulting Leung Ying-ying, the couple’s cousin.

After more than four hours of deliberation, the seven-member jury unanimously ruled that Chen was guilty of two counts of wounding and one count of common assault. They also reached a 6-1 guilty verdict on the remaining wounding charge.

In directing the jury earlier, Justice Judianna Barnes of the High Court noted that Chiu’s operation to have part of his ear re-attached was unsuccessful.

The judge added Wan had been treated at the intensive care unit in hospital and his various wounds had needed stitches, and that Leung Pik-kei was stabbed in the back five times and required psychological treatment after the incident.

The judge also said Chiu’s testimony showed the defendant had a different political stance from most people at the scene, whereas the defence had argued that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

The court adjourned the case to February 9 for Chen’s mitigation and sentencing, pending psychological and psychiatric reports.

The defendant was remanded in custody.