Nine jailed for 3.5 years over 2019 Admiralty riot

Nine out of 11 defendants were on Friday jailed for three-and-a-half years over a riot in Admiralty in 2019, while the remaining two were sent to a training center.

The 11 defendants are Cheung Wai-ching, 24; Cheung Hoi-yan, 21; Cheung Ming-yin, 26; Lam Cheuk-hin, 20; Fung Ho-hin, 27; Ho Mun-hang, 21; Cheng Hiu-yung, 21; Ivan Leung Man-lok, 19; Tse Tsz-kin, 24; Li Wing-yan, 24; and Tracy So Ka-yuk, 24.

Lam and Leung, who was only 16 at the time, were sent to a training center. The other nine were all jailed for three-and-a-half years by judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che in the District Court today.

All defendants had earlier pleaded not guilty but were convicted of rioting outside the Central Government Offices on Harcourt Road in Admiralty during the “global anti-totalitarianism parade” on September 29, 2019.

When handing down the sentence, Yiu said a lot of protesters took part in the violent riot and there would probably be casualties if the police didn't dispersed the crowds in time.

He continued that protesters targeting and charging at government's offices negatively affected the relationship between the public and the government.

Still, Yiu accepted that none of the defendants was the leader of the riot and there was not evidence to prove that they engaged in violent acts. They were at the scene only to assist and encourage other protesters.

In mitigation, the defense said the defendants were affected by the social atmosphere at the time and they regretted what they had done already. The lawyer added they didn't carry any offensive weapon and no police officer was injured by them.