Phone-snatcher gets away with fine, service

Top News | Sophie Hui 12 Jun 2019

Democratic Party legislator Ted Hui Chi-fung has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service and fined HK$3,800 over a phone-snatching incident at the Legislative Council last year.

The 36-year-old lawmaker was found guilty in Eastern Magistracy last month of common assault, obstructing a public officer in the performance of duty and accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent over the snatching of a mobile phone from executive officer Christina Leung Ngok-sze.

Hui committed the offenses on April 24 last year while a bill committee was discussing co-location arrangements of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

In mitigation yesterday, Hui's barrister, Joe Chan Wai-yin, told magistrate Cheng Lim-chi that the lawmaker's community service report was positive.

Hui's wife also said if he is jailed, the family would face big difficulties.

The defense submitted a mitigation letter from a pastor who has known Hui for 10 years. The pastor said Hui is a good husband and a good father and he was sincerely remorseful.

Chan said Hui regretted his behavior on that day, and had held press conferences in the next two days to apologize to Leung.

Handing down the sentence, Cheng said Hui had shown remorse and had admitted the accusations. Hui admitted he had acted impulsively.

On Hui's computer charge, Cheng accepted that Hui did not make any personal gains and the leaked information was not secret, so he decided to order Hui to do community service.

On the other two charges, Cheng said Leung was frightened but she was not physically hurt and so he ordered Hui to pay a fine.

Outside court, Hui said he would not stop fighting inside and outside Legco because of the case, but he would find a better way. He would now focus on fighting the amendment to the extradition bill.

"It's about Legco's role, constitutional role in the Basic Law, and whether the dignity or integrity of Legco is undermined," he said.

Pro-establishment lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan said she was disappointed by the sentence, adding that Hui was not remorseful and the crimes he had committed were serious. She urged the Department of Justice to appeal.

Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said he respected the court's decision and the party's disciplinary committee would study the judgment.

The party's central committee will decide on any sanction, he added.

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