British solicitor Richard Mark Clement acquitted in appeal against bus driver assault

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28th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) Richard Mark Clement, a British solicitor and a partner at the Massie & Clement Solicitors, has been acquitted of charges relating to a contentious skirmish with a bus driver in 2021. The incident, which occurred on a cross-harbour bus in Wan Chai, initially led to Clement’s conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on 22nd November 2022.

During the altercation, which erupted over a fare dispute, Clement was accused of physically engaging with the 60-year-old bus driver after a misunderstanding regarding the bus fare. Following the incident, the magistrate condemned Clement’s actions, highlighting the bus driver’s passive stance while awaiting police intervention, and sentenced Clement to eight weeks of incarceration. However, the decision was suspended pending an appeal, with Clement released on a HK$20,000 bail.

The initial reports detailed a heated exchange that escalated when the driver stopped the bus and began evacuating other passengers while barring Clement from exiting. In the ensuing confrontation, Clement was alleged to have struck the driver multiple times, resulting in the driver’s hospitalisation for injuries including internal haemorrhage and cartilage rupture.

On 9th February, 2024, the High Court delivered a judgement that absolved Clement of the charges, effectively overturning the previous verdict.