Drunk man accused of using policeman’s gun against him cleared of all charges

Jasmine Siu

A Hong Kong man accused of firing three shots with a gun he took from a police officer trying to handcuff him while he was drunk has been cleared of all charges.

A seven-member jury of five men and two women on Thursday unanimously found Chan Chun-kin, 31, not guilty of two charges – each punishable by life imprisonment – after more than six hours of deliberation.

The High Court heard the incident took place at a Sha Tin flat on March 15, 2018, when three police officers tried to restrain a drunk Chan after his mother called for help.

Constable Lam Wun-yan had testified before Mr Justice Joseph Yau Chi-lap to hearing two gunshots when he attempted to grab Chan’s hand while the man struggled to free himself.

Man grabbed officer’s gun and shot him after drunken fight with mother

“There was ringing in my ears because the gunshots were too loud,” Lam said. “What I remembered next was the ambulance came and took me away.”

Prosecutor John Wright said three shots were fired from Lam’s revolver.

At least one of the shots hit constable Lam’s right thigh and came out through his right calf, while another went through his right elbow, according to Wright.

Lam testified that his calf was still numb and said the injury had affected his ability to exercise, lift heavy objects and carry out normal duties.

But Chan denied firing any shots.

He gave a different account during the investigation, accusing the three officers of suddenly attacking him while he was having breakfast that morning.

He sustained a bone fracture during the arrest and complained that officers had used excessive force.

An examination of the clothes he wore at the time suggested he had vomited and soiled his pants, his lawyers said.

Drunk man snatches Hong Kong policeman’s gun and fires three shots

Chan had pleaded not guilty to one count of shooting with intent to resist or prevent lawful apprehension, and another of making use of arms with intent to resist or prevent lawful arrest or detention.

Defence counsel Joe Chan argued that his client had been very drunk at the time and said the police did not tell the truth in court because Lam’s injuries did not match their accounts. He pointed out that there was no independent witness to test their credibility.

The counsel also said investigators had conducted gunshot residue tests to see if the defendant had touched the weapon, but found the results inconclusive.

Findings from DNA and fingerprint analysis were not presented in court.

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