HKSAR v. ABUBAKAR SALEH MOHAMED

HCCC338/2010

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 338 OF 2010

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HKSAR
v
Abubakar Saleh Mohamed

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Before:

The Honourable Mr Justice Line

Date:

13 December 2010 at 9.51 am

Present:

Mr Edward Laskey, counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Ms Diane Crebbin, instructed by T C Lau & Co, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Accused

Offence:

Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)

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Transcript of the Audio Recording
of the Sentence in the above Case

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COURT: I have to sentence you for trafficking in dangerous drugs.

The drug was heroin, and albeit that the active ingredient took two different forms, there is no real difference between them whenit comes to sentence.

You will have been told that sentencing here depends on the nature of the drug and the quantity of it, and that guidelines are usedin order to determine a starting point.

In your case, the total active narcotic ingredient is 807 grammes, and you fall in the bracket that runs from 600 grammes to 1200grammes, attracting a starting point after trial of 20 to 23 years’ imprisonment.

I need say little about the actual facts. You carried these drugs into Hong Kong, having ingested them in Bangkok. You had passedout some 52 packets when the police arrived at your premises at Chung King Mansions. The rest of the packets, 64 of them, were dischargedthereafter.

You were co-operative with the police. You revealed what had happened, and you indicated a plea of guilty at an early stage, and youwill know that earns you a one-third discount, which I shall give you.

Accordingly, I will take a starting point of 21 years, and that has to be enhanced because of the fact that you brought the drugsacross an international border.

The enhancement I shall use is 1 year, which would give a total of 22 years.

You are entitled to a one-third discount. That will give a sentence of 14 years and 8 months.

These things are not entirely mathematical, and I listened to what your counsel has told me in mitigation. In the circumstances, Ijudge that an overall sentence of 14½ years is appropriate. You will appreciate that the discretion that a judge in my positionhas in these cases is limited, because we have to be even-handed between men who do what you did, and it is the unfortunate factthat you are very typical of the couriers used in cases like this. I appreciate it is a long sentence, but you might well think this:if you had taken this across some other borders in south-east Asia, you would not be facing imprisonment, you would be facing a deathpenalty; and I am bound to say that your assertion you did not realise how serious this was I find hard to appreciate, because itis difficult for anyone to leave Bangkok Airport not knowing the seriousness of drug trafficking. But that does not add to your sentencein any way.

In the circumstances, I judge 14½ years is the least sentence I can pass upon you.