Hong Kong’s District Court to hear fraud case against 3 accused of understating weight of screen which fell at concert

Three people accused of understating the weight of a giant screen that fell and crushed two dancers at a Mirror concert will face trial in the District Court, where they could face a maximum punishment of seven years in jail.

The accused worked for the main contractor for the concert last summer by the hugely popular boy band.

The fallen LED screen at Mirror’s concert in July 2022. Photo: Screenshot, via Hong Kong Police.

Project Manager Ng Hoi-ying, 41, Joseph Leung Yiu-cho, 48, and Technical Coordinator of Engineering Lam Chi-wah, 60, of Engineering Impact Limited appeared in front of Acting Principal Magistrate Peony Wong at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday.

They are accused of conspiring to defraud staff at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department between May 19 and July 25 last year by “dishonestly and falsely” representing the weight of various equipment, “thereby inducing the said Manager(s) of the LCSD of the HKSAR to allow the concert known as ‘MIRROR. WE. ARE. LIVE CONCERT 2022’ to proceed.”

The defendants also face an alternative fraud charge under the Theft Ordinance.

The magistrate granted the prosecution eight weeks to prepare for transferring the case to the District Court.

Kowloon City Law Courts Building. File photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Wong granted the accused cash bail of HK$10,000 on condition they report to a police station weekly, live at their declared addresses, hand over all travel documents and avoid discussing case details with prosecution witnesses.

However Ng and Lam were given permission to leave the city between April 1-20 as well as May 1-18 to work on concerts in Singapore and Malaysia.

If convicted, the maximum punishment for conspiracy to defraud is 14 years of imprisonment. The same goes for their alternative charge.

However, the District Court only has the power to hand down a maximum seven years.

2.7 times heavier than declared

On July 28, 2022, a suspended giant screen fell onto the stage at Hong Kong Coliseum during a live performance by Mirror and hit two dancers.

One of the dancers Mo Li Kai-yin, suffered serious injuries to his neck and is still hospitalised and partially paralysed.

An advertisement for popular boy band Mirror outside the Hong Kong Coliseum. File photo: Lea Mok/HKFP

A government investigation found that Engineering Impact under-reported the weight of suspended devices including the giant screen.

The company declared that the screen weighed 3,600 pounds, but official measurement suggested it was 2.7 times heavier at over 9,800 pounds.

The defendants were arrested last November together with two others, following the release of the government’s investigative report.

The other two arrestees – one working for the same company as the accused and one employed by subcontractor Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company – were later released unconditionally, local media reported.

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