A District Court judge has sentenced a man to four years and three months in prison after he was convicted on two charges relating to last year’s rioting in Mong Kok.
Yeung Ka-Lun, a 32-year-old technician, was charged with rioting and arson in connection with the Feb. 9, 2016 incident in which people clashed with police and officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department who were trying to evict street hawkers.
The government described the incident as a riot.
The court heard earlier that Yeung participated in the clashes and set fire to a taxi. The judge found him guilty on April 3, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
In his ruling on Monday, District Court Judge Anthony Kwok said Yeung could have been jailed for five years for rioting.
However, the fact that he has no criminal record and there was no footage presented to the court as evidence make a reduction in his sentence justified.
The judge sentenced Yeung to four years and three months in prison for arson, ordering both sentences to be served concurrently.
Kwok said the Mong Kok clashes seriously disturbed social peace and the actions by the participants were not tolerable.
It is necessary to give sentences heavy enough to generate a deterrent effect, he said.
Kwok also urged radical young people not to act on impulse, adding that one has to be ready to face the legal consequences before challenging authority and the law.
Chan Shun-ching, superintendent of the organized crime and triad bureau, said after sentencing that the police never tolerate any form of violence and will always enforce the law resolutely.
Last month, two men and a woman were found guilty of hurling objects, including glass bottles and bamboo sticks, at police officers during the Mong Kok clashes. They were handed three-year jail terms by a court.
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