A man arrested at a street booth of the now-defunct pro-democracy activist group Student Politicism has been sentenced to three months in prison after he was convicted of attacking a police officer. However, he was immediately released on bail after he filed an appeal against his conviction and sentencing.

Tang Ho-yin, 30, appeared in front of Magistrate Cheng Lim-chi at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts
West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Tang was convicted last December of “assaulting a police officer in the due execution of his duty.” He denied elbowing the officer while he was at a street booth in Mong Kok in February last year.

The magistrate said on Monday that Tang had a history of violence, as demonstrated by a previous conviction of rioting. The defendant’s barrister, Jacky Jim, said that his client had admitted to throwing a brick in an earlier case.

Jim said that Tang suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and needed medication to help with “impulsive issues,” but had stopped taking his medicine, saying that it affected his sleep.

The barrister also said he hoped the judge would consider handing down a Community Service Order instead of a prison sentence as the defendant “did not have an obvious intention to attack,” and he had already been remanded in custody for three weeks.

When announcing his decision, Cheng said that he could not see that Tang was remorseful, as he had pleaded not guilty and had not admitted to assaulting the police officer.

Student Politicism
Student Politicism’s Facebook page. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The magistrate announced a sentencing starting point of three months with no reductions.

Appeal and bail application

Tang filed an application to appeal his conviction and sentencing, and applied for bail on Monday while awaiting appeal.

The magistrate granted him bail after considering the relatively short jail term Tang received. Cheng ordered a cash bail of HK$20,000, and the 30-year-old must report to the Mongkok Police Station every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Tang was also ordered to hand over all travel documents, stay at his reported address, and inform the police if there are any changes to his situation. He is not allowed to leave Hong Kong.

Disbanded in last September

Student Politicism was disbanded in September last year after some of its members were charged under the Beijing-imposed national security law, which criminalised subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to transport and other infrastructure.

Four people, including Student Politicism’s convenor Wong Yat-chin and spokesperson Alice Wong, were accused of conspiring to incite subversion.

Correction 13.01.2022: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Tang Ho-yin was a member of Student Politicism. He was arrested at a Student Politicism street booth, but was not a member. We regret the error.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.