HKSAR v. CHAN WING CHUNG, VINCENT

HCCC 37/2013

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CRIMINAL CASE NO 37 OF 2013

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HKSAR
v
Chan Wing-chung, Vincent
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Before: DHCJ A Wong

Date: 13 June 2013 at 10.09 am

Present: Mr R Beresford, on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Cheung Yiu-leung, instructed by Wat & Co, assigned by DLA, for the accused

Offence: (1) Trafficking in a dangerous drug(販運危險藥物)
(2) Possession of a dangerous drug (管有危險藥物)

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

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COURT: Defendant, you were convicted upon your guilty pleas of one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug and one count of possessionof a dangerous drug.

In sentencing, I have considered the whole circumstances of the case, including its nature and facts, in particular the type and quantityof the dangerous drugs involved, your background and mitigation put forward on your behalf.

The facts of the case may be summarised as follows. In the early hours of 15 July 2012, you and two other persons were stopped bypolice officers when you approached a room inside a private tenement building. You were holding a bundle of keys and a plastic bag.Inside the plastic bag were the dangerous drugs which are the subject matter of this case. Upon being arrested, you admitted thatthe bag of ‘K Chai’ was yours.

With the keys seized from you, entry was gained into the room. Three electronic scales were found inside the room. One of them hadon it traces of ketamine and the other two had traces of both ketamine and cocaine on them. A bundle of transparent resealable plasticbags was also found.

Under caution you admitted having received two packets of ‘K Chai’ from a man called Ah Lung. For a reward of $1,000, you were todivide the drug into small packets. The packet of cocaine was given to you by another person. You kept it for your own consumption.The dangerous drugs found were 155.95 grammes of a powder containing 126.10 grammes of ketamine and 11.99 grammes of a solid containing10.15 grammes of cocaine. The third bag did not contain any dangerous drug.

I was told that you are now 22 years of age. You are living with your father. You had completed primary education but failed to completeform 1. After leaving school, you started to work but were only able to engage in some odd jobs.

You are not a first-time offender. In 2007, when you were about 16 years old, for a charge of common assault and a charge of assaultwith intent to rob, you were sentenced to receiving training at a detention centre. In 2010, for a charge of being a member of atriad society, you were sentenced to a probation order.

In 2011, for a charge of possession of dangerous drugs, you were sentenced to receive treatment at a drug addiction treatment centre.You were discharged in November 2011. Within eight months, you committed not only the same offence again but also another much moreserious offence. It is obvious that drug addiction is still your main problem.

Your counsel urged me to take into account that you are now remorseful. Your father has been suffering from ill health and desperatelyin need of money to pay for his treatment. You were lured to commit the offence for a small reward of about $100 per transaction.

The Court of Appeal suggested, in Secretary for Justice v Hii Siew Cheng [2009] 1 HKLRD 1, that in sentencing for a case of trafficking in ketamine, a sentence of 6 to 9 years’ imprisonment should be considered if thenarcotic content is 50 to 300 grammes. In all the circumstances, I do not find there are good grounds to depart from the tariff.I also have to take into account the paraphernalia found in the premises in assessing your role in the operation. At the least, youwere more than a mere courier.

In my judgment, for Count 1, a starting point of 6 years and 9 months is appropriate and sufficient in the circumstances of the presentcase. For Count 2, the quantity of cocaine in your possession was 10.15 grammes. Having regard to the quantity, a starting pointof 12 months is appropriate. I am of the view that there was a substantial latent risk in this case. I also have to take into accountthat this is your second conviction of the same offence. I therefore consider an ultimate starting point of 21 months appropriate.

You are entitled to a one-third discount for your guilty pleas. Having heard what your counsel told me, I am of the view that thisis the extent of discount you are entitled to in this case.

By reason of the matters aforesaid, I sentence you to 4½ years’ imprisonment for Count 1 and 14 months for Count 2. Having regardto totality, I order the two sentences to run concurrently. So you are to serve a total imprisonment term of 4½ years.