Uni student jailed 38 months over petrol bomb haul

Top News | Maisy Mok 11 May 2021

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to three years and two months in jail after nearly 140 petrol bombs were found inside a rented flat in Wan Chai.

Jawin Mok Ly-tao, a university student, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to destroy or damage property when he appeared yesterday in District Court.

During sentencing, judge Eddie Yip Chor-man said since any offense related to petrol bombs is severe, Mok has to "pay a hefty price for breaking the law."

Mok admitted to possessing 59 bottles of petrol bombs and 79 semi-finished petrol bombs - glass bottles containing white cotton - in a flat at Top View Mansion on Canal Road West in Wan Chai on November 2, 2019.

He also admitted to having 50 glass bottles, 4.6 liters of diesel oil, one liter of isopropyl alcohol and 4.9 liters of gasoline at the flat.

Yip said petrol bombs are extremely dangerous and flammable and storing them in a commercial building is a fire risk.

He considered the case severe as it was a planned crime involving five people, including Mok.

The other four are charged with a count of conspiracy to commit arson as well as an alternative charge of possession with intent to destroy or damage property.

One of them, a 23-year-old woman, Yeung Wing-yu, pleaded guilty to the same count as Mok and was also jailed for three years and two months on April 30.

Three males aged between 20 and 25 will have their cases heard on Friday.

In mitigation, the defense counsel said Mok now understands that committing crimes to express political demands will not solve problems and will lead to a deepening of social conflict.

Mok has been remanded for 18 months and has participated in a study program for those remanded. The defense counsel added that Mok hoped for the case to end quickly and to be able to return to society and that he was unable to attend both of his grandparents' funerals while in custody.

Mok's lawyer submitted 10 mitigation letters which stated that he committed the crime on impulse and that he is a hardworking person who cares about society.

Meanwhile, 12 riot defendants aged between 18 and 40 were denied their request to change the presiding judge yesterday.

They are among 23 defendants accused of rioting on July 28 in 2019 during a clash between police and protesters at an anti-fugitive bill protest in Sheung Wan.

District judge Johnny Chan Jong-heng, who presided over the case, was criticized by the defense counsels for rejecting their defense too soon. The judge was also criticized for mocking barrister Shek Shu-ming and accusing several defense counsels of violating professional conduct for "delaying the case."

Chan rejected the request to change the judge and denied having "extremely different attitudes" toward the prosecution and defense.

He added that he is responding to the event rather than any individual.


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