CRIMINAL CASE NO. 42 OF 2011
COURT: The defendant pleads guilty to one charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
He was intercepted by Customs Officers when he arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport from Bangkok, and was escorted to thehospital for examination. X-ray examination showed a foreign substance inside his body, and in the next few days he excreted a totalof 60 pellets of drugs.
Under caution he said that he would be rewarded US$3,000 upon successful delivery of the pellets to Hong Kong.
Upon analysis, the drugs were found to be 0.88 kilograms of a mixture containing 0.47 kilograms of heroin hydrochloride, and the marketvalue of the drugs was estimated to be in the region of $554,000.
The defendant is born in New Guinea and is now aged 32. He has a clear record in Hong Kong. By way of mitigation, I was told thatthe defendant came from a family of humble background. The financial condition of the family went downhill since his mother’s deathand father falling ill. He left his wife to come to the east to try his luck, which led to the commission of the present offences.I am told that his guilty plea shows that he is prepared to face the music, and counsel urges me to tamper justice with mercy, asit would be quite some time before the defendant could reunite with his family again.
In sentencing dangerous drugs related offences, very little credit is given by the court to factors other than a defendant’s guiltyplea. The tariff is one based on the weight of the narcotics.
I have taken into account all that could have been said by his counsel, including his timely guilty plea.
The narcotics in the present case is 0.47 kilograms. According to the guideline in sentencing, for trafficking in cocaine or heroinhydrochloride between 400 to 600 grammes, the tariff is one between 15 to 20 years.
Taking into account the international factor, I adopt a starting point of 16 years’ imprisonment. The defendant is entitled to thefull one-third discount for his plea. There is nothing else in this case which warrants a further discount.
He is sentenced to 10 years and 8 months’ imprisonment.