Seven 'white shirts' jailed for Yuen Long mob attack

Top News | Wallis Wang 23 Jul 2021

Seven white-shirted men in the 2019 Yuen Long station mob attack have been jailed for between three-and-a-half and seven years.

District Court Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man said the men took the law into their own hands and ignored police.

And the court, Yip added, will not tolerate collective vigilante action.

Among the five men convicted on rioting and wounding charges was 62-year-old merchant Tang Wai-sum, who was sentenced to seven years - the highest term the District Court could hand down - for attacking people with wooden sticks and umbrellas and leading other men.

Driver Ng Wai-nam, 58 - also known as "Flying Nam" - was jailed for four years for beating people with wooden sticks.

Mechanic Choi Lap-ki, 40, was jailed for six years. Cable worker Wong Ying-kit, 50, and 61-year-old retiree Tang Ying-bun were jailed for 42 months and 45 months, respectively.

The other two defendants had pleaded guilty to rioting. They were second-hand car salesman Lam Koon-leung, 49, who got four years, and car sales manager Lam Kai-ming, 44, who was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Yip said deterrent sentences must be imposed because such a lawless attack had triggered extreme fear among people.

"This was a senseless and indiscriminate attack," he said, adding the white-clad men displaced the role of police with their own armed forces.

They used rattan and wooden sticks to beat innocent people, trapping them inside train carriages, Yip said.

"This is false imprisonment in nature," he said, adding that they also abused the national flag by attaching it to the weapons they used. Yip disagreed that people could leave the station freely that night on July 21, 2019, saying a reporter was beaten after she stepped out of the turnstiles.

Another defendant, transport worker Wong Chi-wing, 55, was earlier acquitted of rioting and wounding with intent.

The Department of Justice has lodged an appeal against the court's decision.

While Yip was reading the sentence, someone in the gallery yelled "rubbish" while leaving the courtroom. Other white-shirted people said Yip's voice was too low and shouted "I can't hear" and "Speak louder," but they were told to stay quiet by the judge.

After hearing the sentence, some people shouted "dog judge," "unfair sentence" and "the rule of law has died," while leaving the courtoom.

One of them said Yip was "even worse than a dog," adding: "I will beat him after leaving here."

Some people said they would send letters to President Xi Jinping and the central government and ask them to handle Hong Kong affairs.

Dozens of people wearing white shirts played the national anthem outside the court, calling the judge unfair and demanding a retrial.

More than 10 police officers stopped and searched them and required them to present their ID cards. Officers also urged them to leave and warned they may violate social distancing measures.

In response to The Standard's inquiries, the Judiciary said any attempt to put pressure on judges should be seriously condemned.

The families of the seven attackers also criticized Yip in a news conference.

The wife of Tang Wai-sum, who was in tears, said they do not have the money to appeal the decision.

Winfield Chong Wing-fai, a member of the Democratic Party's central committee, said he respected the court's decision and urged authorities to investigate the masterminds behind the attack.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu said the sentences were too harsh.

Ho said the seven could urge Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to pardon them.

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