Construction worker remanded in custody for spray-painting government properties

Local | 3 Sep 2020 8:47 pm

A 53-year-old construction worker has been remanded in custody after appearing in court for spraying protest and political graffiti on government properties son six occasions since last May. 

The defendant, Lee Chung-yin, pled guilty to six counts of criminal damage today. He appeared before Magistrate Bina Chainrai at Eastern Magistrate’s Court. 

The defendant was arrested for spray-painting words such as “Rehabilitate June 4’, “Carrie Lam, step down” and “Incompetent Carrie Lam has harmed Hong Kong” on at least six government properties across the city between May and June last year as well as March this year. 

They include a footbridge in Western Street in Sai Ying Pun, the exterior of Tamar Park’s observation deck, a distribution board at the junction of Shan Tong Road and Nam Wan Road in Tai Po, a mental fence and a wall along the Pak Shek Kok Promenade in Tai Po, a lamppost under a highway in Ma On Shan and the exterior of the Office of the Chief Executive. 

The defendant earlier admitted that he carried out the acts due to his discontent and anger over the now-withdrawn anti-extradition bill launched by the government. 

Magistrate Chainrai rejected the claim of HK$25,557.5 filed by the prosecution against the defendant, saying that the prosecution should file a civil claim instead. 

Chainrai ordered the defendant to be remanded in custody until September 17. 

Meanwhile, a 75-year-old homeless man has been sentenced to two-week imprisonment, year-long probation and given a fine of HK$1,000 for spraying protest graffiti outside the Prince Edward MTR station in June. 

The defendant, Lau Tit-man, pled guilty to one count of criminal damage today. He appeared before Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen at West Kowloon Magistrate’s Court. 

On June 1, the defendant spray-painted a Chinese idiom that reads “vindication for the wronged” outside the station. 

He told police he sprayed the graffiti to express his dissatisfaction with the government.

Outside the court building, Lou said he felt the “cleaning fee” is unreasonable and that the amount is a considerable burden to him.

Lau has been living in the streets near the Mong Kok police station for more than five years, according to local reports.

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