A defendant admitted on Friday one count of rioting in relation to a protest that took place in Mong Kok in the early hours of February 9 last year.
Ng Ting-kai, 25, requested bail after pleading guilty. His lawyer said Ng had been suffering from autism since he was young and the condition had worsened following the incident. Ng also showed symptoms of severe depression, the court heard.
District Court Judge Kwok Wai-kin approved the bail request, on the conditions that Ng is forbidden to leave the territory and must report to police once a week.
The court heard that Ng was filmed throwing bricks or other items thrice at police officers at around 4am on the night in question. Officers later arrested Ng and found flashlights, surgical masks and goggles in his bag.
The prosecution said four police officers were injured during the incident, Stand News reported. An officer’s middle finger was said to be fractured. She was given a 1.5 per cent permanent disability rating and 360 days of sick leave.
Ng was also charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The prosecution asked the court to withhold the charge until after the conclusion of the trial. Judge Kwok approved the request.
Ng was one of ten defendants who appeared before the court on Friday. They were charged with rioting, criminal damage or assault during the protest.
Another defendant Mo Jia-tao, 18, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer on Thursday. He denied three other charges of rioting and a charge of criminal damage.
The remaining eight defendants denied their charges. Some of them alleged that they were assaulted or threatened by police during questioning. They indicated an intention to retract the statements they gave to police.
The trial, which began on Thursday, is expected to last 30 days.
Fifth rioting conviction
Ng’s guilty plea marked the fifth rioting conviction related to the Mong Kok unrest. In April, a 32-year-old technician was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail for rioting and arson during the event.
In March, three activists were convicted of rioting by the District Court and were each handed a three-year jail term. The judge said at the time that rioting necessitated a deterrent sentence.
Rioting carries a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment under the Public Order Ordinance. However, the District Court is only allowed to mete out sentences with a maximum length of seven years.
The court will hand down a sentence for Ng at a later date.