ATTORNEY GENERAL v. TONG WONG KWOK-HONG

CAAR000005/1975

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG

(APPELLATE JURISDICTION)

APPLICATION FOR REVIEW NO. 5 OF 1975

—————–

BETWEEN:
Attorney General Applicant
and
TONG WONG Kwok-hong Respondent

APPLICATION FOR REVIEW NO. 6 OF 1975

—————–

BETWEEN:
Attorney General Applicant
and
KWONG Wing Respondent

Coram: Briggs, C.J., Huggins & McMullin, JJ.

Date of Judgment: 10th April, 1975.

—————–

DECISION

—————–

1. We will deal with these two applications for review together.

2. The two respondents pleaded guilty to an offence under section 4 of the Indecent Exhibitions Ordinance.

3. TONG WONG Kwok-hong, the respondent in Review No. 5 of 1975, was the proprietor, editor and publisher of a magazine called the GlamourMagazine. KWONG Wing, the respondent in Review No. 6 of 1975, was the printer of the 22nd Edition. The 22nd Edition of this magazinecontained certain indecent photographs and an article which was of an indecent nature. The magistrate imposed a fine of $250 on TONGWONG Kwok-hong and a fine of $150 on KWONG Wing.

4. TONG WONG Kwok-hong appeared before the courts no less than nine times in connection with various editions of this particular magazinein the last eight months of 1974. He was fined on seven occasions and received an absolute discharge on two occasions. His finesranged from $500 to $2,500. In the month of September, 1974, he was fined $2,500 in respect of three separate cases and in December1974 four cases were brought against him and he was fined $2,400. It is quite obvious that this man treats the fines which have beenimposed on him as being one of the ordinary expenses of publishing pornography. In these circumstances the fine which was imposedby the magistrate in the present case was derisory.

5. This is such a bad case that we think that a custodial sentence is necessary.

6. TONG WONG Kwok-hong informed the court that he had applied to the Department for Home Affairs for advice as to the indecency or otherwiseof material that he proposed to publish. That department refused to advise him and we think, rightly. Looking at the 22nd Edition,it is obvious that any person who reads it would be in no doubt that the photographs and text, the subject matter of this case, wereindecent.

7. We therefore allowed this application for review [namely No. 5 of 1975] set aside the sentence of a fine of $250 and substitutedtherefor a term of imprisonment of six months. The fine, if paid, must be returned to the respondent.

8. The case of KWONG Wing stands on a very different footing. He was the printer of the offensive material but he has no previous convictions.However, we think that a fine of $150 for an offence of this nature is wrong in principle and we therefore allowed this application,No. 6 of 1975, set aside the sentence of a fine of $150 and substituted therefor a fine of $1,000.

(Geoffrey Briggs)
President.

Representation:

Lucas, D.D.P:P. for Crown/Applicant.

Respondents in person.