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Monday, December 19, 2016, 18:53

Teenager pleads guilty to Mong Kok riot charge

By chinadailyasia.com
Teenager pleads guilty to Mong Kok riot charge
This Feb 9, 2016 photo shows a rioter throwing bricks at police in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. (Edmond Tang / China Daily)

HONG KONG – A 17-year-old who threw bricks at the police during the Mong Kok riot in February, hurting one officer, on Monday became the first to plead guilty in the court over the incident.

Chan Ho-man was charged at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court with one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Despite considering the suspect's young age, the magistrate stressed the offense was serious. She adjourned the sentence until Jan 9 as she wants to see the reports from the rehabilitation center and detention center before handing down the ruling.

According to the Offences Against the Person Ordinance, whoever is found guilty of the above offense may be liable to imprisonment for three years.

Despite considering the suspect's young age, the magistrate stressed the offense was serious

Chan, a McDonald’s worker, admitted throwing a palm-sized brick at a uniformed police officer at the junction between Nathan Road and Shantung Street on Feb 9, causing the officer’s left knee to bleed.

The defense barrister Roland Lau Wai-wah said Chan, who had dropped out of school since Form 3, recognized he had done something wrong because he had been caught up in the excitement of the moment. Lau said Chan was influenced by the others at the scene.

However, the magistrate said Chan was the one in control of his person. He could have controlled himself despite others' provocation.

Until now, more than 50 Mong Kok riot defendants are facing the High Court and District Court over the next two years on various charges, including rioting.

According to Hong Kong's Public Order Ordinance, any person who takes part in a riot may be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

The clash happened on the first night of the Lunar New Year near a new-year market in Mong Kok. Rioters burned social facilities and damaged police cars. The police have so far arrested 90 people.

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