Chinese passenger fined for throwing coffee at Cathay stewardess

April 10, 2015 13:55
Li Yifeng (inset) says he will appeal his conviction for common assault on a Cathay Pacific cabin attendant. He vowed never to fly Cathay again. Photos: Bloomberg, Apple Daily

A 68-year-old Chinese painter has been found guilty of common assault and fined HK$6,000 (US$774) for throwing coffee at an airline stewardess.

Li Yifeng angrily protested his innocence when the verdict was announced and said he will appeal. 

Magistrate Jim Tsui-ki dismissed Li's account of the incident, saying it was contradictory and confusing.

He said the defendant failed to show reasonable proof that the act was accidental, Apple Daily reported Friday.

By contrast, the stewardess was a reliable and trustworthy witness, he said.

The case stemmed from a Dec. 10 incident in which Li threw coffee at a Cathay Pacific stewardess after she refused him water to drink with his medicine.

Li said he had accidentally spilled coffee on Lai Wing-man whom he accused of sloppy service. 

The judge ignored Li's angry outburst and asked him about his income before meting out the fine.

“My paintings are priceless,” Li said, adding he makes more than 1 million yuan a month.

In mitigation, Li said he suffers from diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

The judge spared him jail, saying he committed the offense after his request for water had been repeatedly denied.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Li accused Cathay of standards worse than those of Chinese airlines.

He vowed not to take another flight on the Hong Kong flag carrier, saying he would rather fly Malaysia Airlines which last year lost a plane with dozenss of Chinese passengers on board.  

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