Hksar v Lee Wai Ben

Court:High Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:HCMA558/2009
Judgment Date:16 Oct 2009
HCMA000558/2009 HKSAR v. LEE WAI BEN

HCMA558/2009

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 558 OF 2009

(ON APPEAL FROM ESCC 6053 OF 2008)

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BETWEEN

HKSAR

Respondent
and
LEE WAI-BEN Appellant

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Before: The Honourable Mr Justice Line in Court

Date of Hearing: 16 October 2009

Date of Judgment: 16 October 2009

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J U D G M E N T

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1. This is an appeal against a refusal by a magistrate to award a successful Defendant costs following his acquittal in the Magistrates' Court. The Appellant had been charged with an offence of wounding in circumstances where he was acting in the course of his employment as a bouncer outside a public house in Wanchai.

2. PW1, who was the victim, was clearly drunk and behaved offensively. He was escorted out of the premises by somebody else and when he got outside, where the Appellant was standing, was rude to him, the conduct being confined to verbal rudeness and verbal aggression. What happened then, happily, was caught on CCTV footage and I quote from what the magistrate said in his statement of findings:

"The victim hurled abuse towards the direction of where the Defendant was standing. PW1 then turned and began to walk away from the bar's entrance. At this time, the Defendant followed the alleged victim and caught up with him and then the Defendant put his hand on the alleged victim's shoulder."

3. Now, unfortunately, the footage stopped there. You could not see what happened, but it was admitted that there was a push at that stage and the fact was that the victim went to the ground and cut his head. The acquittal was on the basis that there was doubt, for reasons I am not going to go into now, but for good reasons there was doubt whether or not the push had, in fact, caused the fall that caused the injury or whether or not the man just fell over because he was so drunk. In fact, there is material before me today, which was not before the magistrate, which suggests it was the latter but that does not matter because this court cannot and will not go behind the acquittal.

4. The question was did the Appellant bring the matter upon himself and the answer that the magistrate gave to that was, certainly, and I agree with his assessment of it. The conduct of...

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