The first three people to have been convicted of rioting at the 2016 Mong Kok Lunar New Year unrest were jailed for three years each today.
Hui Ka-ki, 23, Mak Tsz-hei, 20, and Sit Tat-wing were sentenced at the District Court this morning, after they were yesterday convicted of one joint count of rioting, for which the maximum penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment. None of the defendants had criminal records.
During sentencing today, Judge Sham Siu-man said the long jail terms were a “deterrent”, Oriental Daily reports. An isolated incident of violence would not have warranted such a harsh punishment, he was reported to have said, but an unlawful assembly of 20 to 30 people acting violently could easily have escalated.
Hui and Sit were accused of throwing glass bottles at police officers, and Mak was accused of throwing a bamboo pole. According to Apple Daily, Sham contradicted all three defendants’ defences during trial, and told Sit that he should have run away from the fracas or “stood by some shops” if he “didn’t want to be confused for a rioter”.