Seventeen-year-old sentenced to eight years in prison for paid acid attack on restaurant owner

A 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to splashing corrosive liquid on another person in court today and was sentenced to eight years behind bars.

The former logistics worker, surnamed Lai, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and has been previously accused twice of assault.

He faced an allegation of “throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to do grievous bodily harm” and was on trial on Tuesday in the High Court over his assault on a 44-year-old Thai barbecue restaurant keeper on March 20 last year.

Around 7pm on the day of the accident, Lai held a white plastic bottle carrying corrosive liquid to splash the restaurant owner three to four times, according to the court, causing severe burns on his face, chest, stomach, and other body parts. Before the assault, Lai once threw the fluid at the victim but found that the bottle cap was not open; he then took the time to open the lid to commit the crime.

To the police, Lai admitted he was in debt of HK$12,000 and was incited by a man dubbed “Yin” to attack the restaurant owner for a HK$5,000 payment. Lai claimed he had no contact with Yin and was found by the police to be abusing drugs and alcohol.

In court, Judge Anna Lai Yuen-kee determined Lai’s action caused lifelong harm and significant pain to the victim since he suffered burns to 14 percent of his body, noting that defendant had also suffered burns to three percent of his body, which he “deserved.”

It was also learned that another incident involving the throwing of corrosive fluid had happened in the restaurant this April, causing five people to be injured.