IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 71 OF 1976
Coram: Briggs, C.J.
Date of Judgment: 27th January, 1976.
1. The appellant pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment. The appellantwas leaving an elevator with his son, a small boy. Another man, who was referred to as a ‘delivery boy’ although he is a man of matureyears, tried to enter the lift at the same time as the appellant was stepping out, accidentally struck the appellant – he was carryinga gas cylinder at the time. This caused the appellant to fall down and as the appellant got up the delivery boy made a gesture athim as though to strike him with the gas cylinder. He also used his fists and hit the appellant’s face. The Appellant went to hisresidence which was nearby and seizing two aluminium pipes, which were part of a knitting machine, returned and struck the deliveryboy on the thigh.
2. The magistrate sentenced the delivery boy at the same time as he sentenced the appellant but imposed a fine of $250, although hehad a previous conviction.
3. The appellant has a clear record and holds a responsible position, being the owner of a small factory.
4. In my view, this was a trivial offence and the appellant should not have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment. He has expressedregret as to his behaviour and has, he tells me, learnt his lesson. It is, of course, inexcusable to use force against a fellow citizeneven though one is provoked by that citizen.
5. However, in my view, justice would best be done here if I substitute a fine of $500 for the month’s imprisonment imposed by the magistrate.In fairness to the magistrate it should be stated that the appellant was unrepresented in his court and, through inexperience, didnot explain the full background and facts of the incident to the magistrate at the time.
Alan Hoo (Lau, Chan & Ko) for appellant.
Conway for crown.