Community & Education Hong Kong Law & Crime

Comedian found guilty of wounding heckler faces up to 3 years in jail; ordered to pay HK$10k compensation

Data scientist Gary Jackson has been found guilty of one count of wounding over an incident at the Hong Kong Brew House in March. He faces up to three years in prison after smashing a glass into the face of Ravi Kanasamoorthe at an open mic event he was performing at.

Gary Jackson Brew House assault

Photo: YouTube screenshot.

In announcing the sentence, Judge Jason Wan Siu-Ming said that he was “sure that the defendant has not told the truth and therefore I reject his evidence.”

During the trial, Jackson claimed he intended to splash Kanasamoorthe with beer in order to calm him down after he heckled him for telling an allegedly racist joke.

The judge said Jackson was an experienced performer and adult with a sound mind, and that he should know better than splashing beer at an angry person, as it “will never calm that person down.”

Graphic image
Ravi Kanasamoorthe

Ravi Kanasamoorthe before and after stitches.

The judge also asked why the defendant went towards the direction of the victim “if the defendant really felt threatened,” and “if he really really wanted to leave, why did he pick up the glass almost immediately after stepping down from the stage?”

Jackson had pleaded not guilty to the charge, claiming that Kanasamoorthe was moving towards him.

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

In making his ruling, the judge accepted the victim’s evidence, saying that there was nothing “improbable” in his testimony. Wan also said that while a defence witness gave evidence of a conversation with the victim prior to the incident, Wan did not think it relevant to the case.

eastern law court

File photo: Eastern Law Courts Building.

Jackson’s defence lawyer said that he was a person of good character who engaged in community work and taught data science classes to refugees. She recommended a background report prior to the sentencing.

The sentencing was adjourned until October 24.

Comedian found guilty of wounding heckler faces up to 3 years in jail; ordered to pay HK$10k compensation