A Hong Kong judge expressed his sympathy while sentencing a tour guide to 45 months in jail for stabbing three people during last year’s pro-democracy protest. The three victims needed hospital treatment, and one of them was critically wounded.
Tony Hung Chun, 51, was jailed on Friday for stabbing a newspaper reporter and two others with a beef knife inside a pedestrian tunnel – used by anti-government protesters as a so-called Lennon Wall to post messages of support – in Tseung Kwan O area of Hong Kong in August last year.
Judge Kwok Wai-kin said the defendant was himself a “victim” of the anti-government unrest, agreeing with his lawyer that his income as a tour guide had been badly affected by the protest movement.
The judge said during sentencing on Friday that the anti-government protesters had been “like an army”, beating people up and blocking roads.
He said protesters who hurt ordinary people while pursuing their cause were no different from terrorists, according to local media reports.
Hung had felt angry when he passed the wall and saw people putting up posters, as he had been out of work for about two months and believed these were the people who had caused the economic downturn.
Hung pleaded guilty in December to three counts of wounding with intent, and apologised to his victims and the people of Hong Kong.
The judge described Hung as “an involuntary sacrifice and a bloodstained victim hanging by his last breath” as the protesters had “ruthlessly trampled on his right to work, live and survive”.
Lennon Walls plastered with colourful notes spread across Hong Kong during the protests. They got their name from a wall in Prague that was filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti after the singer-songwriter’s death in 1980.
The territory saw weeks of protests over a proposal to allow suspects in the city to be extradited to mainland China.
While that was later abandoned, the protests morphed into demands for greater democracy and less control from Beijing and anger against the government remains.
As a former British colony, Hong Kong is part of China but run under a “one country, two systems” arrangement that guarantees it a high level of autonomy, except in foreign affairs and defence. (Source: BBC)