A Hong Kong man who stabbed a police officer during a protest and was arrested hours later on a plane set to depart for Britain has been sentenced to five years in prison. Another defendant in the case was given a 33-month jail term.

Wong Kwan-wa, 26, and Percy Chau, 21, appeared in front of Judge Frankie Yiu at District Court on Thursday. The pair were charged over the protest in Causeway Bay on July 1, 2020, the anniversary of the city’s Handover.

Photo: Joshua Kwan/United Social Press.

Wong last month pleaded guilty to one count of rioting and one count of wounding with intent, while Chau pleaded guilty to rioting and obstructing an officer on duty.

Wong, now 26, stabbed a police officer in the left arm with a folding knife while he was attempting to subdue Law Kok-sum, another defendant in the case.

July 1, 2020. Photo: May James/HKFP.

Wong, a civil engineering graduate, was arrested after boarding a flight to the UK in the early hours of the next day. Chau and Law were arrested two weeks after the incident.

Law has pleaded guilty to rioting and resisting arrest, but his sentencing was adjourned to October 31 after Judge Yiu called for a report on his suitability for a training centre.

The police officer was assigned to administrative work after he recovered, and the Employees’ Compensation (Ordinary Assessment) Board assessed that he had permanently lost 1.5 per cent of his earning capacity because of the injury.

Mitigation

Barrister Steven Kwan said Wong was remorseful and asked that the sentences for the two offences be served concurrently.

District Court. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Chau’s barrister, citing letters from the defendant’s family and teacher, said he was a kind person. The barrister said Chau did not use any violence during the incident, and had relatively little involvement in the riot.

Yiu, when announcing sentence, said the riot was a large-scale affair involving around 300 protesters. It caused nuisance to the public and road users, and a police officer had been seriously injured.

The judge set a starting point of four years for the rioting charge, and each defendant was sentenced to 32 months in prison after deductions were made for pleading guilty.

Wong was also sentenced to four years in jail for his second charge, and was ordered to serve a total of five years after Yiu ruled that 12 months of the rioting sentence was to be served consecutively with the second jail term.

Chau was handed a two-month jail term for the obstruction charge, of which one month will be served consecutively with the rioting sentence. The 21-year-old’s prison term came to 33 months in total.

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Candice Chau

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.