Lui Sheuk-hang, 31, was arrested in Wuhu Street while he was wearing protective gear and carrying 100 cable ties and 26 marbles.
He had denied the charge, telling the court that the marbles were toys for his cat, and that the cable ties were just for fastening wire nets across windows at his home to protect his pet.
But the PolyU graduate’s testimony was rejected by the court and he was convicted of rioting and possessing instruments fit for unlawful purposes.
Passing sentence, District Court judge Frankie Yiu noted that the defendant had been described as a good son to his parents, hard working and diligent.
But Yiu said rioting is a serious offence.
He said the three-hour riot, involving about 100 protesters, was “large scale” and “threatening,” noting that bricks were scattered on the road and petrol bombs were also thrown.
But he said since there was no evidence to suggest that Lui played a leading role in the event and no serious injuries occurred, the starting point of his sentence for rioting was set at four years behind bars.
The judge deducted three months after considering the defendant’s background and other factors.
Lui was also given a three-month prison term over the possession of instruments fit for unlawful purposes, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
As Lui was being escorted away from the courtroom, people sitting in the public gallery shouted “hang in there.”