A French IT designer was fined HK1,000 on Monday for drunkenly hurling a chair at his business partner, the Shiu Wing Steel founder’s grandson-in-law, after the latter allegedly broke his phone

during a business argument.

Sebastien Pierre Claude Druvent, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Eastern Court.

Deputy magistrate Winston Leung Wing-chung said the defendant should consider himself lucky that the victim suffered only very minor injuries, as throwing a chair in a place full of people was a dangerous act that could kill. He added that Druvent could consider this “a blessing in disguise” that could remind him about “the bad thing” involving drinking and losing control.

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The incident took place shortly after 1am on April 24 last year, when Druvent was having a business discussion with his partners over drinks at M1 Bar and Restaurant in Causeway Bay.

Closed-circuit camera footage showed the designer hurling a chair at a man standing by the restaurant’s entrance, who was later identified as Michael Yuen Hak-man, and returning to his table afterwards.

Defence counsel Camel Tam Kwong-tak said Yuen had earlier become “aggressive and violent” as the pair disagreed over business.

He was said to have slapped Druvent’s hand while the latter was looking at his phone, causing the device to slip and fall to the ground.

It took 10 minutes to locate the device, said Tam, at which point Druvent lost his temper and threw the chair in Yuen’s direction.

READ MORE: Voice told Hong Kong restaurant worker to throw chair that killed passer-by, court hears

The grandson-in-law of Shiu Wing Steel founder Pong Ding-yuen suffered a five-centimetre abrasion wound to his right knee and tenderness with mild swelling in his right ankle, according to a medical examination conducted three weeks after the incident.

The magistrate noted that the injury was very minor, as Yuen continued chatting on the phone without even stopping to check his leg.

Tam said the offence was “completely out of character” for Druvent, who was very remorseful as the act was partly caused by his consumption of alcohol.

“He’s promised to behave himself and not to do the same thing again,” said Tam, adding that his client had since abstained from drinking.

Meanwhile, the 52-year-old Yuen, who was also in court, will stand trial next Monday, after denying one count of criminal damage last December.

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