Toymaker jailed for carrying banned items

Local | Michael Shum 28 Jan 2021

A toy designer was jailed for two months for carrying a knife, lighter and laser pen - considered banned items - to a protest after the Department of Justice won a sentencing review yesterday.

Chan King-shing, 28, was originally sentenced to 100 hours of community service, of which he had completed 62 hours, after pleading guilty in August to two counts of possessing prohibited weapons and one count of possessing articles with an intent to damage property.

Chan was arrested after police officers found on him a laser pen, a retractable knife, a hammer, a lighter and a can of spray paint last January 1 at the public transport interchange of MTR Hong Kong station.

The Department of Justice deemed the sentence too lenient and filed an appeal, which Eastern court magistrate Stanley Ho Chun-yiu yesterday approved.

The prosecution said Chan's background should not overshadow public interest and Ho should consider the deterrent effect while handing down a sentence.

"Chan also possessed multiple objects of different sorts, of which the lighter and the lighter fluid are highly flammable and could be used for vandalizing. Given the cramped environment in Hong Kong, using fire to vandalize can have a potential risk," the prosecution told the court.

"There were other incidents of vandalism on that day This shows the case and the charges should be regarded as serious and therefore Chan should be jailed."

The defense argued that it would be unfair to Chan if the sentence took into account vandalism done by others, given there was no evidence proving Chan participated in such behavior.

Ho later accepted the arguments put forward by the prosecution, agreeing the sentence did not sufficiently consider the factors raised by the prosecution, as well as the fact that the case is serious in nature.

"Therefore, according to the guidelines from the court of appeal, Chan has to be jailed to reflect the seriousness of the case and the defendant's personal guilt," Ho said.

Ho started with a six-month jail term, and Chan received a two-month discount for pleading guilty. Ho reduced Chan's jail term further to two months after taking into consideration that this is a sentence review case and Chan could have finished his social service order if not for the limitations due to the pandemic.

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