HKSAR v. CHENG HIU TUNG

HCMA 78/2010

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 78 OF 2010

(ON APPEAL FROM TMCC 4644/2009)

____________

BETWEEN

HKSAR Respondent
and
CHENG Hiu-tung Appellant

____________

Before: Hon Wright J

Date of Hearing and Judgment: 18 March 2010

_______________

J U D G M E N T

_______________

1. The appellant appeals an order committing him to Training Centre after he was convicted, on his own plea, of possession of a danegrousdrug, to wit 0.73 grammes of ketamine.

2. The magistrate called for a number of reports before deciding on the appropriate course. The appellant was found unsuitable foradmission to Drug Addiction Treatment Centre as he is not assessed as being drug dependant. He was found not to be suitable for DetentionCentre on medical grounds. The probation officer concluded, understandably, that he was not suitable for either probation supervisionor to perform Community Service due to his “deep-rooted delinquent problem, [a lack of] motivation to reform himself and poor responseto rehabilitation programme”. He had previously been committed to Rehabilitation Centre in respect of three convictions for theoffence of theft: the reports show that after release on supervision he was recalled three times due to breaches of the requirementsimposed on him, as a consequence of which it was considered that he would not benefit from further exposure to the programme.

3. He was found to be suitable for, and likely to benefit from, the longer Training Centre regime. When sentencing a young person likethe appellant rehabilitation takes on particular significance. The magistrate correctly described the appellant as “…a youngman going badly astray.” That is clear from the reports.

4. The sentence is not disproportionate to the offence, especially when the appellant’s personal circumstances are taken into account.In the circumstances, the order made by the magistrate was entirely appropriate and the one which I would have made.

5. The appeal is dismissed.

(A R Wright)
Judge of the Court of First Instance
High Court

Mr Anthony Chau, Senior Public Prosecutor, Department of Justice, for the Respondent.

Appellant in person.