The Court of Appeal on Friday sent a teenager to a rehabilitation centre over his trashing of a mainland-owned bubble tea shop, after prosecutors successfully challenged the community service order he was given by Sha Tin Magistracy in December.
Chow Kin-nok, who was 16 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty to criminal damage over the vandalism at a Heytea branch in Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza on May 13, 2020 – as protesters held rallies at malls across Hong Kong.
The court heard that the two cash registers and an octopus card machine the boy and other protesters damaged were worth around HK$15,000.
A panel of three Court of Appeal judges earlier said that the original sentence of 200 hours of community service was clearly insufficient.
They ruled that a rehabilitation centre order was the appropriate punishment, after taking into account the teen's assessment and medical reports.
Before Chow was escorted away from the courtroom, his family and friends waved and told him to hang on, study and take care of himself – with a few people bursting into tears.
People aged between 14 and 20 are first detained at a rehabilitation centre for two to five months, depending on their performance.
After that, they stay at another rehabilitation centre for one to four months, but will be allowed to go out during certain hours of the day to study, work or do other approved activities.
Court review sends teenager to rehab centre
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