(ABC) A Hong Kong court ruling Thursday that a laser pointer carried by a teenager was an offensive weapon marked a tougher stance by the judiciary after months of anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory with a lawmaker warning it could lead to more prosecutions of demonstrators. Local broadcaster RTHK said a court found a 16-year-old male student guilty of possessing the laser pointer and a modified umbrella deemed to be offensive weapons. The items were found in his bag along with a helmet and other protective gear used by protesters when he was detained Sept. 21 near the site of a planned rally for democracy reforms. It said the court ruled the youth had intended to use the laser pointer to cause harm to police by shining it in their eyes. He is to remain in custody until sentencing on Nov. 25. While there has been controversy in the past over the use of laser pointers legislator James To said the courts ruling was the first to designate the tool as a weapon since protests broke out in June. It reflected a harder position by courts who have been accused by pro-Beijing supporters of being too lenient with protesters.
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