A woman, who was arrested for allegedly taking photographs in a courtroom last week, threw coins at three Court of Appeal judges on Wednesday. She was taken away from Admiralty’s High Court building by the police.

The woman surnamed Lai was at Court no. 4 as the judges were hearing an appeal case from former Marine Department assistant director So Ping-chi. It related to his misconduct in public office conviction following the 2012 Lamma ferry collision tragedy.

The woman stood up 30 minutes into the hearing and threw coins at the judges’ desks, though none of them struck anyone, according to Ming Pao.

She was asked to leave by bailiffs and was barred when she tried to reenter the court. Lai reportedly said outside the court in Cantonese: “How can judges do that? Others will set fires to burn them.”

Following the incident,  she visited several other courtrooms before arriving at Court no. 38. She told Registrar of the High Court Lung Kim-wan – who was in the courtroom – that she had lost a case and an appeal, which involved elements of fraud, reported Apple Daily.

Lai said she had to pay hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong dollars in legal fees.

She asked Lung – who had heard her first case – what she could do when the court was unfair. Lung said she can go to the Resource Centre for Unrepresented Litigants, but he did not have power to help her.

Photo: inmediahk.net.

She was taken away by the police in a van.

Last Thursday, the woman attended a criminal trial at an 11th-floor courtroom at the High Court. A lawyer’s intern saw her raise her phone up to take a photo before the trial commenced.

The woman, who according to the police held a Hong Kong identity card, was arrested but released after a preliminary investigation.

Earlier this month, 35-year-old mainland woman Tang Lin-ling was sentenced to seven days in prison for contempt of court and was ordered to pay HK$197,260 in legal fees. After her release from prison, she was deported back to the mainland.

Contempt of court is punishable with jail time.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.