HKSAR v. CHENG CHI KEUNG

DCCC 525/2013

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO 525 OF 2013

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HKSAR
v
Cheng Chi-keung
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Before: HH Judge Woodcock

Date: 12 July 2013 at 3.07 pm

Present: Ms Sheroy Tam, SPP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Lai Wing-fai Duncan, of James Ho & Co, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: (1) & (2) Burglary (入屋犯法罪)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. The defendant has pleaded guilty today to two charges of burglary, contrary to section 11(1)(b) and (4) of the Theft Ordinance, Cap.210.

2. On 18 February 2013, the defendant committed the first burglary. He entered a Flat F of the 4th Floor of Block A of Yen Lok Building,Lin Shing Road, Chai Wan.

3. This building was obviously under renovation and scaffold was erected on the outside of the building. The defendant climbed upto the 4th floor using the scaffold. He entered the premises through a window and burgled the premises. No one was at home at thetime. The defendant locked the front door from the inside to make sure that he was not caught by any occupant returning home. Thedefendant got away with some personal items, a mobile phone and some cash.

4. The defendant returned to the same building four days later and on 22 February committed the second offence.

5. I assume he returned because the building was an easy target as it had a scaffold to assist the defendant to climb upwards.

6. Luckily, the police, being vigilant and diligent, had set up an anti-burglary operation. The defendant was seen leaving or climbingout of the second victim’s premises.

7. When the defendant went to climb down the scaffold to escape, he saw the police and hid on a balcony of a different flat.

8. After a search, the defendant was discovered and arrested. The property he had stolen from the second premises were found on him. This was lucky, as the value of the items were quite high.

9. The defendant made a full admission upon arrest and later, in subsequent video records of interview, he fully cooperated with thepolice.

10. The defendant’s best mitigation is his plea of guilty today.

11. The defendant is a 36-year-old man and is single, living with his family. He does have a girlfriend and a 2-year-old child, butthey live in separate premises.

12. From the antecedent, I can see the defendant is not highly educated and has had employment but in several fields.

13. The defendant is not a man of clear record. He has many previous convictions. He has 16 convictions relating to

24 charges. Many relate to theft offences and he has one similar to today’s offences: burglary.

14. He also has several convictions for possession of dangerous drugs and has been sent to a Drug Addiction Treatment Centre on threeseparate occasions. He is clearly a drug addict and had told the police that he requires methadone treatment.

15. Defence counsel has pointed out that the defendant is remorseful and pleaded today. He says the defendant is determined to turnover a new leaf and has recently turned to Christianity. Let us hope that these are not bare assertions and the defendant does havedetermination to stay away from dangerous drugs.

16. For a burglary of domestic premises, the usual starting point is one of 3 years, where there are no aggravating or mitigating factorsthat exist.

17. I have considered the facts and mitigation and I find that there are no aggravating or mitigating factors in this case.

18. Please stand up, defendant.

19. After considering mitigation, the facts of the case and the defendant’s plea, I will take a starting point for Charges 1 and 2of 3 years’ imprisonment.

20. Because the defendant has pleaded guilty today, he is entitled to a discount of 1 year.

21. For Charges 1 and 2, the defendant is sentenced to

2 years’ imprisonment.

22. To reflect that there were two offences and taking into account the totality principle, I will order that 6 months of the 2 yearsof Charge 2 will be served consecutively to Charge 1 and the balance concurrent.

23. Accordingly, for the two charges, the defendant is sentenced to 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.

24. I am aware the defendant is presently serving a term of imprisonment for possession of dangerous drugs.

25. I see no reason not to order the sentence of today to be served consecutively to the sentence of KC 1082/2013 and I make such anorder.

COURT: Do you understand, defendant?

DEFENDANT: Understood.

A. J. Woodcock
District Judge