IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 842 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. When it comes to sentence the Court of Appeal lay down very strict guidelines. I think in this case converting the quantity ofcannabis to equivalent quantity of ketamine is a futile exercise. Looking at the quantity of ketamine you had in your possessionI think the extra quantity of cannabis should not have significantly increased the sentence. I can safely ignore that quantity ofcannabis for the purpose of sentencing. Of course the Court of Appeal never intended a straight line sliding scale quantity in theband of sentences otherwise it would have spelt it out easily. A certain logarithm table would have been laid down for the courtto resort to.
2. Looking at the quantity, a sentence should be close to the upper end. The mode of trafficking is just an average type. Nothingto show it is more serious, nothing to show you play a very serious or a particularly significant part. The sentences should berelating mostly to the quantity you had.
3. I think a term of 5½ years’ imprisonment should be the starting point. There are no other mitigating factors in your case apartfrom your own personal circumstances. Of course I am not condoning what you did but I do appreciate that it was particularly hardfor you. Even if you wanted to work illegally you cannot find work or at least you would have had difficulty in finding an employerwho is willing to employ you at the risk of being sent to prison themselves. And, I understand, from other cases, and I am sureit applies in your case, no other meaningful activity had been organised for you and persons in a situation similar to yours. Soyou are simply let go, free in the street without any money to spend; without any chance of earning a decent living.
4. I do appreciate the difficulty you have. I will give you some credit for that and I also consider that you are a foreigner andyou are a refugee and there may be quite significant Punjabi speaking prison population. I do not know. But in any event they maybe of a different culture, you are a newcomer here, prison life will be more difficult for you and I understand that there are certainremission should be given in respect of that. So altogether I will give you another 6 months reduction so that I will sentence youto a total term of 5 years’ imprisonment.
Defendant’s renewed application for leave to appeal against conviction refused by Court of Appeal. Please refer to CACC451/2009 dated25 March 2011