Yuen Long defendant directed other attackers: judge

A District Court judge said a man who directed people to launch mob attacks at Yuen Long MTR Station on July 21, 2019, will receive a heavier punishment than others who took part, as seven defendants finished their mitigation pleas ahead of sentencing next Thursday.

The court convicted five of the defendants of wounding and rioting last month, while two others earlier pleaded guilty.

On the second day of mitigation, judge Eddie Yip said defendant Tang Wai-sum is going to receive a heavier sentence than the other attackers.

He noted that Tang was seen pointing with his hand and giving orders to some men in white T-shirts to hit people at the station that night.

“He wasn’t an observer. He was the person who directed the attacks,” the judge said.

Judge Yip also added that Tang used a stick and umbrella to attack others outside the MTR station, and he questioned why there were sticks lying everywhere in Yuen Long that night.

The judge also said he won’t accept the explanation from another defendant, Tang Ying-bun, who claimed he took a stick to the station to protect himself as he headed to the scene to understand the situation.

Saying this explanation goes against common sense, the judge questioned why the defendant would have taken a stick to defend himself, when he didn’t know the severity of the situation at the station.

“People normally won’t be concerned about their safety if they are going to a station right? It’s just like going to the zoo, cinemas and restaurants, and it’s not like going to triad dens… So why would he hold a stick?” the judge asked.

Yip earlier said he’s considering heavy sentences for other defendants in the case, as he described the violence that night as “indiscriminate” and said the assailants seemed to have “lost their minds”.

The gang’s rampage left dozens of people in hospital.

The police, who failed to intervene in the attack, later claimed the violence was a “fight between two evenly matched sides”. Some of those injured in the attack are also being prosecuted.