During the seven-minute riot two years ago, Lau Yuen-ling, 47, was also seen throwing an umbrella inside Sha Tin MTR Station, although it didn’t hit anyone.
The District Court heard that chaos broke out at the station on the night of September 7, 2019 when a police officer moved to arrest a protester who was shining a torch at him.
The protester struggled, tried to escape and bit the officer’s forearm. Around 50 other protesters approached and threw objects towards the pair to try to prevent the arrest.
When the policeman attempted to pull the protester into the station’s control room, Lau threw a mooncake tin which hit the officer on the back of the head.
Event planner Tse Ka-lun, 44, who tried to block the control room’s door with an umbrella, was also found guilty of rioting and sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.
In sentencing, judge Anthony Kwok conceded that the riot didn’t last long, wasn’t as bad as other disturbances that took place around the same time, and that no police officer was seriously injured.
But he said deterrent sentences were needed being as the clashes happened in an MTR station and because the protesters had charged “crazily” towards the control room.
“The court will not tolerate violence targeting the police… protesters had used violence… to prevent the arrest and damage the station’s order and facilities… The protesters’ presence at the station also caused an adverse impact to the station’s normal operations and brought inconvenience to citizens,” the judge said.
Kwok acknowledged that the events came amid social discontent stemming from the government’s ill-fated extradition bill, but said the court should not and will not consider political factors and the defendants must shoulder responsibility for their actions.
The protester who Lau and Tse had attempted to rescue, Li Chun-lam, was given a one-year jail term, after he was convicted of resisting arrest and possessing offensive weapons – namely two laser pointers.
The judge said Li, 29, had initiated the incident in question, and he must have known that his resistance would cause protesters to lose their self-control.