Two jailed over deadly 2019 clash - RTHK
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Two jailed over deadly 2019 clash

2022-08-12 HKT 12:00
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  • High Court Judge Esther Toh said a deterrent sentence was required. File photo: RTHK
    High Court Judge Esther Toh said a deterrent sentence was required. File photo: RTHK
The High Court on Friday sentenced two people to five and a half years in prison for rioting after two groups hurled bricks at each other in Sheung Shui in 2019, leading to the death of a 70-year-old man.

Kelvin Lau, 19, and Chan Yin-ting, 18, were earlier acquitted of manslaughter and wounding with intent over the incident outside North District Town Hall on November 13, 2019, which also saw another man suffer an eye injury.

Judge Esther Toh said while Lau and Chan shouldn't be punished for the charges they were cleared of, that doesn't lessen the seriousness and tragic consequence of the riot and a deterrent sentence was required.

Toh adopted a starting point of six years and deducted half a year after considering that the duo lacked proper adult supervision and didn't foresee the disastrous consequences of their actions.

The judge also noted that the pair were remorseful for what they had done.

She said it was heartbreaking that the victim, janitor Luo Changqing, was struck in the head by a brick while filming the altercation using his mobile phone.

She also noted that the evidence showed that black-clad protesters had placed bricks on the road before residents arrived to try to clear the debris, leading to a confrontation that escalated into violence.

Toh praised the residents who she said courageously and selflessly tried to remove the bricks, saying they were "unsung heroes" who displayed the spirit of Hong Kong.

She also commended the police, saying the lengthy video footage provided to the court reflected the tremendous effort officers put into the investigation. She said the Hong Kong Police Force are not only the finest in Asia, but also the entire world.