Cancer-stricken elderly couple avoid jail over Occupy assault

July 15, 2015 12:47
The retired couple (inset) pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a woman during an Occupy rally last year. Chan Nam-sing is seen attacking the 36-year-old woman. Photos: YouTube, RTHK

A retired couple who pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a woman during last year's Occupy protests avoided jail after the judge gave weight to the fact that they were suffering from cancer.

A Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Court found So Suet-ling, 65, guilty of one count of common assault and sentenced her to a 14-day prison term suspended for 12 months, while her husband Chan Nam-sing, 72, was fined HK$8,000 (US$1,032) for indecent assault, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.

The court had heard from the defendants’ lawyer that the couple have clean backgrounds and shown remorse for their actions. It was also told So has contracted breast cancer while Chan is suffering from liver cancer.

The judge said the charges against the couple were serious enough to put them in jail, but she considered their illnesses and based her ruling on humanitarian grounds.

The case stemmed from an incident on Oct. 4 last year, when the 36-year-old victim was using her phone camera to film a pro-democracy rally on Argyle Street near Langham Place in Mong Kok.

As the victim tried to stop a fight that erupted during the rally, the couple scolded her.

Video clips filmed by other protesters at the scene showed So assaulting the woman and taking her mobile phone.

Chan was accused of touching the woman's breasts.

Commenting on the judgement, some netizens referred to another case in which a 73-year-old man, despite his age and poor health, was given a four-month jail term in April for using a fake Hong Kong identity card to secure a job as a security guard.

(Oct. 4, 2014)

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