Chan Yuk-wa, Kent

Before: H H Judge Longley

Date: 13 December 2010 at 10.25 am

Present: Mr Frederic Whitehouse, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Lee Chiu-tong, Peter, instructed by Messrs Li, Wong, Lam & W I Cheung, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for theDefendant

Offence: (1) Burglary (入屋犯法罪)
(2) & (3) Attempted theft (企圖盜竊罪)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Chan Yuk-wa, you have been convicted on your own plea of one charge of burglary and two charges of attempted theft.

2. All three offences occurred in the early hours of 14 June this year on the 8th Floor of a building in Cheung Ching Estate, TsingYi. At about 2.15 am you were seen by one of the residents of that floor loitering. About 15 minutes later, the same resident sawyou putting your hand through the transom window of Room 801 on that floor. You withdrew your hand without apparently having stolenanything. That offence is the subject of Charge 1.

3. About 20 minutes later, as the same resident was going down to make a report to the security staff of the building, he saw you squattingoutside Room 822. You had inserted the extendable fishing pole, which I have seen, through the metal grille of that flat. He sawyou withdraw that fishing pole from the metal grille. Again it appears that you had not managed to steal anything.

4. The police were called and when they arrived, they saw you and discreetly kept you under observation. They saw you opening thetransom window of Room 813 and again put the fishing pole through the window. Again you withdrew the pole without apparently havingstolen anything. The police intercepted you and you admitted that you had been attempting to steal from these flats.

5. The offences have been charged as burglary and attempted theft. Despite the difference in the nature of the charge, essentiallythe nature of the offence that you were committing was the same. You were attempting to reach into other people’s homes, usingeither your hand or a fishing pole in order to steal items inside.

6. I bear in mind for the purpose of sentence that your attempts appear to have been unsuccessful. As I am sure Mr Lee will have toldyou, the normal starting point for those who commit a burglary in domestic premises, who are first offenders, is 3 years’ imprisonment.

7. You are not a first offender. You have a number of previous convictions including convictions for theft. But on the other hand,I do recognize that simply putting one’s hand through the window of another person’s home is not as serious a violation of theprivacy of that person’s home as if you had gained entry with your whole body.

8. On Charge 1, I am adopting a starting point of 2 years’ imprisonment which I discount by one-third to reflect your plea of guilty,making a sentence of 16 months’ imprisonment on that charge.

9. I am adopting the same starting point of 2 years’ imprisonment in respect of Charges 2 and 3 which I discount by one-third toreflect your pleas, resulting in a sentence of 16 months’ imprisonment on each of those charges.

10. Bearing in mind the total criminality of what you did on that night, I am of the view that the appropriate overall sentence is oneof 2 years’ imprisonment. On Charge 1, I sentence you to 16 months’ imprisonment. On Charge 2, I sentence you to 16 months’imprisonment, 4 months of which are to run consecutively to the sentence on Charge 1. On Charge 3, I sentence you to 16 months’imprisonment, 4 months of which are to run consecutively to the sentences on Charges 1 and 2, making a total of 2 years’ imprisonment.

P.K.M. Longley
District Court Judge