Hong Kong Law & Crime

Audience member who objected to ‘racist’ joke ‘ran into’ comedian’s beer glass, court hears

Gary Stephen Jackson, a comedian who has allegedly glassed an audience member, had no intention of harming anyone, the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts heard on Wednesday.

Jackson, 42, has pleaded not guilty to one count of wounding after allegedly smashing a glass into the face of Ravi Kanasamoorthe, who criticised the performer for telling a joke he claimed was racist. The incident unfolded at the Hong Kong Brew House in Lan Kwai Fong in March this year.

Jackson’s lawyer said that the comedian did not intend to harm Kanasamoorthe, and that it would not make sense for a “serious comedian of good character” to glass the victim over a minor event. She told the court that her client had acted in self-defence, intending to “swish” beer on him, but Kanasamoorthe “ran into the glass.”

eastern law court

File photo: Eastern Law Courts Building.

CCTV footage

CCTV footage presented to the court showed that on the night of the incident, Jackson went offstage and grabbed a beer glass. However, the alleged glassing took place out of view of the camera.

The prosecution said that inferences can be drawn from Jackson’s gestures in the footage, that he had “stepped off stage, grabbed a glass, and smashed it on [the victim’s] face.” He said that Jackson deliberately went out of frame of the CCTV camera.

There are “significant and fatal contradictions” between Jackson’s testimony and the CCTV footage, the prosecution said.

But Jackson’s lawyer said that the footage does not show the entire sequence of events and is therefore it was insufficient to draw conclusions. According to the lawyer, some footage was erased because it was deemed irrelevant, but it should have been included, causing unfairness to Jackson.

Gary Jackson Brew House assault

Photo: YouTube screenshot.

She told the court that the victim had attempted to punch the comedian. But Magistrate Jason Wan Siu-ming questioned why the lawyer did not mention this point when cross-examining Kanasamoorthe on Tuesday.

“It would be a little bit unfair [to Kanasamoorthe]… as you did not really give him the chance to tell us whether there was punching [sic] indeed,” the magistrate told Jackson’s lawyer.

The court will give a verdict in two weeks. If convicted, Jackson may face a three years’ imprisonment.

Audience member who objected to 'racist' joke 'ran into' comedian's beer glass, court hears