A man who admitted to carrying a flick knife and a lighter with him during an anti-government protest last year has been sent to two months in jail after the Department of Justice (DOJ) won a sentencing review.
Chan King-shing, 28, was originally ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for possessing prohibited weapons and articles with intent to damage property.
The DOJ said that was too lenient and lodged an appeal.
Chan was also found to be in possession of a laser pointer and spray paint when he was stopped at the Hong Kong MTR station during a mass rally on Hong Kong Island on January 1, 2020.
In passing the new sentence, Eastern magistrate Stanley Ho agreed with the DOJ that the lighter could be used to cause damage, especially in a congested city like Hong Kong.
He noted that there had already been damage along the protest route when Chan was arrested.
Ho also said with the DOJ appealing and seeking stiffer sentences in a number of protest-related cases, he was bound by the higher court's sentencing guidelines and had to hand down an immediate custodial sentence accordingly.
Chan’s lawyer argued, however, there was no evidence the defendant had caused any of the damage, and that it’s unfair what others did became part of the sentencing considerations.
The magistrate said the starting point was six months in jail, and that was reduced because of the defendant's guilty plea and the fact that he'd completed nearly two-thirds of his community service order.