A 29-year-old man has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to rioting in Mong Kok in 2016, with the judge rejecting pleas for a more lenient punishment because the defendant has had cancer.
In handing down sentence on Thursday, District Court deputy judge Lily Wong said there were many protesters at the scene – far exceeding the number of police officers there – and Chan Chun-lok had played an active role in the violence.
She said the protesters surely knew they were violating the law as they wore masks to conceal their faces in an attempt to evade legal responsibility.
Chan's lawyer pleaded for leniency, saying his client was diagnosed with lymphoma four years ago and remains on medication.
But the judge rejected the plea, saying illness is generally not a factor for reduced sentences.
Wong said she believes the Correctional Services Department will follow up on the defendant's treatment.
Separately, a 17-year-old was sent to a training centre after pleading guilty to rioting during a protest in May last year to oppose the national security law.
The boy admitted being part of a group that set upon a woman who was clearing away objects blocking a road in Causeway Bay.
District Court judge Frankie Yiu said being young is not normally a mitigating factor when a defendant has committed a serious crime.
But Yiu said he decided to give the teenager a chance, considering that he didn't play a leading role in the incident.
Man jailed for rioting in Mong Kok in 2016
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