Seven jailed for up to 7 years over 2019 Yuen Long mob attack

Hong Kong | 22 Jul 2021 11:55 am

The District Court on Thursday sentenced seven people to between 3.5 and 7 years in jail for their roles in the indiscriminate mob attacks on people in Yuen Long on July 21, 2019.

The July 21 attack in the northern Yuen Long district by more than 100 people wearing white T-shirts and wielding sticks and poles was one of the most violent scenes of the 2019 unrest.

The attack also sparked public criticism of the police’s sluggish response, with some accusing them of colluding with gangsters suspected of carrying out the attack.

Police have rejected those accusations, blaming the slow response partly on protests elsewhere draining resources.

Tang Wai-sum, who gave orders for others to beat people up, was jailed for seven years, the maximum penalty the District Court could give for the crime.

Wong Ying-kit, Ng Wai-nam, Tang Ying-bun and Choi Lap-ki were put behind bars for between three-and-a-half and six years.

They were convicted last month of wounding and rioting.

Lam Koon-leung and Lam Kai-ming, who earlier pleaded guilty to rioting, were both sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

The court had been told that the defendants were among groups of people who, using items including rattan and wooden sticks, assaulted people in Yuen Long MTR Station, the YOHO Mall, and Ying Lung Wai on the night in question.

In handing the sentences, Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man had described the violence as "indiscriminate" and said the assailants seemed to have “lost their minds”.

He also described the crimes as “mob justice which caused panic among the general public.”

The sentences today marked the city’s first conviction of any of the white-shirted attackers.

Police said last month they had arrested 63 people in relation to the Yuen Long events. Fifteen of those have been charged with taking part in a riot, and eight were also charged with “conspiracy to wound with intent”.

Media tallies show seven of those charged were not part of the white-shirted mob. Former democratic lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was hospitalized after being wounded as he livestreamed the attack, was also charged with rioting.

An award-winning journalist, Bao Choy, investigating the police action that day for public broadcaster RTHK, was found guilty in April of obtaining vehicle registrations illegally to trace those behind the assault.

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