A retired man found guilty of prodding a young pro-democracy protester in the throat told a court that the teenager had “used his neck to hit me” on the fingers, a court has heard.

Man Ho-chuen, 70, was found guilty of common assault after pushing his fingers into 19-year-old Chan Ho-wun’s throat during last year’s Umbrella Movement protests in Admiralty. The assault was caught on camera by an Agence France-Presse photographer.

Defending himself at the trial at Eastern Court in Sai Wan Ho, Man said that he had held out two fingers in self-defence, in response to Chan’s emotional behaviour. He told the court that the protester then used “his neck to hit me.” 

Man prodding Chan in his throat. Photo: AFP.

Rejecting Man’s statement, magistrate Lee Siu-ho said that he could have given the teenager a verbal warning or taken a step backwards rather than attacking the younger man. He accused Man of “fictionalising” his witness statement.

Man claimed that the magistrate was biased towards the protester’s statement, according to Apple Daily.

Harcourt Road during Umbrella Movement. Photo: Wikimedia.

Outside the court, Chan said Man’s conviction had illustrated the effectiveness of peaceful protest. He said that if he had responded violently, he would have become the accused.

Man attended gatherings organised by pro-establishment group Caring Hong Kong Power during the Occupy movement. According to AFP, he identified himself as one of the 400 to 500 “supporting the police” during the protests.

Man is currently on bail and will be sentenced on July 16. The court will obtain background reports prior to the hearing.

Paul Benedict Lee

Paul Benedict Lee is an undergraduate law student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Paul has previously contributed to HK Magazine and Radio Television Hong Kong, covering issues ranging from local heritage conservation to arts features. He has also worked as a legal intern at local human rights firm Daly & Associates.