When I wrote the comment on 3 June on the above topic, the appeal judgment of HKSAR v Yam Kai Ming HCMA 936/2010 had not come out. The written judgment of the appeal case heard by Fung J came out on 9 June. I then realized that the name of the deputy magistrate Ms WY Ho was mentioned in the judgment. From my reading of the judgment as to what happened, I should say the deputy is below standard. Her mistake was actually not on a factual finding. She was mistaken as to whether the charge of resisting a police officer required a general intent or specific intent. It was obviously a case of self-intoxicated drunkenness. The defendant should have been duly convicted of the charge in the original trial. The deputy magistrate tried to bail herself out by twisting her mistake in law to a mistake of facts. I have doubt about her integrity. If in the review sought by the prosecution, she frankly admitted her mistake in law that the offence did not require specific intent and proceeded to convict the defendant, then the appeal would not be allowed. The fundamental mistake made by the deputy casts doubt as to her competence as a magistrate. Her trying to cover up her mistake casts no doubt that she is unfit to continue to sit as a deputy. I concern more about judicial integrity than a simple mistake in law. The reason she gave is an affront to the intelligence of the people reading her statement of findings. No wonder the appeal was allowed.
My comment is not a malicious or unwarranted slur. I believe anyone reading the appeal judgment will agree with me without demur.