A student was jailed for four years and three months on Friday for rioting during Hong Kong's social unrest two years ago.
Lee Ho-ming, 21, was found guilty earlier this month by the District Court after taking part in a “liberate Tuen Mun Park” protest on September 21, 2019.
His lawyer called for leniency, saying Lee’s dream of joining the aviation industry was most likely over in light of the conviction.
The lawyer also cited a probation officer's report which said the defendant was remorseful, and had admitted adopting the wrong methods to show how much he cares about society.
But deputy judge Lily Wong rejected the defence’s plea.
She said Lee had played an active role in the unrest, noting he was “ready to battle” because he had put on full protest gear.
Wong said video footage also showed the defendant using a hiking pole to hit a water barricade.
“The defendant came from a good family with good education, and a harsh sentence would be a tragedy to him, his family and people around him,” the judge said.
But she also said the defendant had disregarded the rule of law and damaged social order.
A deterrent sentence was needed, the judge said, because Lee had been part of more than 200 “violent protesters”, some of whom, she said, had thrown bricks and petrol bombs at the police.
The judge said while no one suffered major injuries, the protesters had posed a real risk to the safety of people at the scene.