CRIMINAL CASE NO. 83 OF 2011
COURT: The defendant pleads guilty to five charges of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap. 134.
He was intercepted by Customs officers and upon a search he was found to be in possession of a tissue packet containing dangerousdrugs. Under caution he said he was delivering the cocaine to another person.
Upon subsequent search at four addresses to which he had access, drugs as specified in Charges 2 to 5 were found with other drug-relatedparaphernalia. The drugs involved were cocaine hydrochloride, cocaine heroin hydrochloride, monactylmorphine and ketamine. Totalweight of narcotics in relation to all five charges was just over 4 kilograms. Retail value of all the drugs was in the region ofHK$7.6 million.
Defendant is now aged 62. He has two previous convictions, the first dated back to 1991 whilst the second one is in 2009, none relatedto dangerous drugs.
By way of mitigation, I am told that defendant used to work irregularly as a construction site worker. He came to know a Thai ladywho had fallen ill and had gone back to Thailand for treatment and that defendant had to pay her medical bills which caused him torun into financial difficulties resulting in his commission of the present offences.
Counsel urges me to take into account that defendant had accepted culpability and pleaded guilty at the earliest possible instanceand, given his age, he will probably never be able to see light to freedom again in his life.
In sentencing the defendant I have taken into account facts of the present case and the drugs involved. According to the tariff caseof Abdallah guidelines for trafficking in heroin or cocaine over 600 grammes were laid down. The bracket for trafficking between 4,000 to 15,000grammes, a starting point of 26 to 30 years is appropriate.
I have taken into account defendant’s guilty plea and mitigation forwarded. I am of the view that it is both unrealistic and artificialto give separate starting points to the different charges. I consider the correct way to go about it is to consider the total amountof drugs involved in all five charges. My rough calculation is that the drugs involved are just slightly more than 4 kilograms.
I consider an overall starting point of 26 years appropriate in the absence of any of the aggravating features named in paragraph42 of the Abdallah case. Defendant is given the full one-third discount for his plea and he is sentenced to 17 years and 4 months’ imprisonment.