Skip To Main Content
The trial of Godber in February 1975 was talk of the town. Throughout the week-long trial, the court was jam-packed! Exactly what happened inside and outside the court? Let’s take a look.
This was the Victoria District Court and it was in Court No. 7 on the ground floor that the Godber case was tried. The building looks familiar? The Court of Final Appeal of the HKSAR Government.
Presiding over the case, Judge Ti-liang Yang received a chain of anonymous threatening letters. The first one appealed to his Chinese origins and demanded that Godber, who had squeezed a lot of money from Chinese people, be given a heavy sentence. Another one threatened that if Godber was not found guilty, Mr Yang would be sanctioned by the public.
On hearing his sentence of four years' imprisonment, Godber remained expressionless with one hand holding the railing of the dock.
On judgement day, Court No. 7 was jam-packed with reporters, students, lawyers and others who wanted to witness this important moment in Hong Kong's anti-corruption history. After the trial, hundreds of spectators were still reluctant to leave. Some of them even climbed up the banyan tree outside the court hoping to get a better view of what was happening. The police had to deploy dozens more officers to stand by and to maintain order.
The Godber case attracted a large number of reporters to cover the trial. On February 25, 1975 when the judgement was given, nearly one hundred reporters and photographers waited outside the court. As soon as the prosecution counsel, the defence counsel and Godber stepped out of the court, the reporters swarmed to them and some even lost their shoes as they hustled their way through the crowd.