Lawyers for retired police officer Frankly Chu have asked a judge for his conditional release after he was convicted of assaulting a pedestrian in 2014. Chu is appealing his sentence and conviction for assault occasioning bodily harm handed down last December.
Videos taken on November 26, 2014 during the pro-democracy Occupy protests appear to show Chu striking pedestrians with a baton without prior warning.
Chu was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment but only spent two weeks in jail in late 2017 before being released on bail. His appeal was heard at the High Court on Wednesday and Thursday.
Chu’s lawyer, Senior Counsel Charlotte Draycott, said he has been remanded for 16 days, which was already an adequate punishment.
Draycott said Chu had been harassed by Occupy supporters, and was followed by Apple Daily reporters for a month. Draycott added that the newspaper’s photojournalist followed Chu and his family to a restaurant.
He said Chu retired during his golden age and wished to find another job, but the case has made it impossible. She also said Chu has been unable to lead a normal life for four years.
Chu did not wish to have a custodial record and was thus requesting a conditional release, Draycott said.
Under section 36 of the Magistrates Ordinance, when a magistrate punishes a person on a summary conviction, the magistrate can – after considering the person’s character, antecedents, age, health or mental condition, or the nature of the offence – decide on an unconditional or conditional release.
For a release with conditions, the magistrate could ask for sureties of up to HK$2,000, and good behaviour for up to three years.
Judge Albert Wong Sung-hau said he will hand down a judgment at 4pm on September 14.