A lawyer representing prominent localist Edward Leung told the High Court on Wednesday that a trial judge had mistakenly taken irrelevant factors into consideration when he sentenced the localism leader to six years in jail.
Leung is seeking to overturn a prison term that he is currently serving over his convictions for taking part in the Mong Kok riots during the Lunar New Year holiday in 2016.
Senior counsel Lawrence Lok argued that the trial judge had wrongly determined Leung’s action that night was premeditated because he was wearing a helmet, mask and goggles.
But the lawyer said the incident happened suddenly and was not planned or organised by Leung. He said the items he wore were not weapons and were only used for his protection.
He also noted that Leung had been cleared of a second charge over his involvement in a riot that took place in Portland Street on the same night. He said Leung was present at the scene but didn’t participate.
However, Lok said the trial judge had decided that Leung should bear part of the criminal liability and that was inappropriate.
But the Director of Public Prosecutions, David Leung, said in sentencing, the court would not just have looked at the actions taken by a defendant.
He said the court must have considered the whole of the riot, including the number of participants, the level and scale of the violence involved, and the incidents that took place after the defendant was arrested.
After the arguments from both the sides, the three judge panel led by acting chief judge Jeremy Poon adjourned the hearing and said they would give their decision at a later date.