IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 920 OF 1971
—————– CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 964 OF 1971 —————–
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 964 OF 1971
Coram: Briggs and Huggins J.J.
Date of Judgment:
1. The appellant Wong Foon was convicted of being in possession of dangerous drugs for the purpose of trafficking contrary to Section 7 of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance on November 25, 1971. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. He appeals to this Court against that sentence.
2. He advanced no real grounds for so appealing but we reduced his sentence to one of three years having regard to the following considerations.
3. On the same day the Court dealt with the appeal of Chu Wing-sang. He also was convicted of being in possession of dangerous drugsfor the purpose of trafficking. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, namely to one year less than Wong Foon.
4. The facts of the two cases are curiously similar.
5. Wong Foon is 60 years of age. He was convicted of being in possession of 35.1 grammes of barbitone and 15.5 grammes of heroin. Hehas a long history of previous convictions for similar offences. The most important of these is a conviction for a similar offencefor which he was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment in 1969. As we have, noted he received a sentence of 4 years imprisonment forthe offences with which we are now concerned.
6. The second appellant, Chu Wing Sang, is 62, two years older the Wong Foon. He was convicted of being in possession of 34.4 grammesof barbitone and 125.6 grammes of heroin; very much more heroin than was found in the possession of Wong Foon. He also has a longlist of previous convictions for similar offences: the most important of which is a conviction for a similar offence for which hewas sentenced to 21 months imprisonment in 1969.
7. The same District Court Judge presided over the trials of Wong Foon and Chu Wing Sang and the trials occurred within a few days ofeach other.
8. We do not think that a sentence of 4 years imprisonment for an offence of this nature is too severe. As was pointed out by the DistrictJudge who presided at the trials, if a light sentence is imposed upon elderly men who are convicted of this type of offence, elderlymen will be used as trafficers in drugs for that reason. But we consider that Wong Foon might be left with a real sense of grievanceat the discrepancy between his sentence of 4 years and the sentence of 3 years passed on Chu Wing Sang, since the facts in Chu WingSang’s case are less favourable to the appellant than are the facts in Wong Foon’s case.
9. We considered whether we should increase the sentence of Chu Wing Sang to four years but decided in view of his age and because ofhis poor health to take a more merciful course.
10. The appeal of Wong Foon is allowed to the extent that a sentence of 3 years imprisonment will be substituted for his present sentenceof 4 years. The appeal of Chu Wing Sang is dismissed.