HKSAR v. CHENG MAN KIT, JIMMY

DCCC459/2009

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 459 OF 2009

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HKSAR
v.
Cheng Man-kit, Jimmy

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Before: HH Judge Whaley

Date: 9 June 2009 at 10.16 am

Present: Ms Peggy Lo, SPP, of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Walter W T Liu, of Walter Liu & Co., assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: Burglary (入屋犯法罪)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. The defendant has been convicted on his plea of one charge of burglary committed on 17 April this year in Castle Peak Road, ShamShui Po.

2. The bedroom window of the premises in question was open and the defendant entered through the open window; he stepped onto the bedand woke up the occupant who was sleeping. They grappled with each other, the defendant tried to punch him but did not succeed,and the occupant succeeded in subduing him. The police were called. Under caution, the defendant said, “I climbed into the housefrom the window and intended to steal something to make money.”

3. The defendant is 35 years of age. He has a record, only one similar previous conviction for burglary in August 2007 for which hewas sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment. The defendant has again stated today through his solicitor, Mr Liu, that the reasonhe committed this offence was to try and make some quick money. This was completely unacceptable of course, the defendant is obliged,like everybody else in the community, to find lawful ways to make money.

4. The well-established starting point for burglary of domestic premises is 3 years’ imprisonment after trial. I can see no reasonto depart from those guidelines. I do adopt a starting point of 3 years and in return for his plea of guilty and co-operation, heis entitled to the one-third discount normally afforded which reduces the starting point to 2 years’ imprisonment.

5. I bear in mind that the defendant did not use any violence or force to speak of, it was a minor scuffle, no injury caused to anybodyand in the event, no loss of property because he was caught before he could steal anything. Also, the defendant did not break intothe premises, he went through an open window. Bearing all these circumstances in mind, I further discount the sentence by a further3 months and sentence the defendant to a total of 1 year and 9 months’ imprisonment.

H.H. Judge Whaley
District Judge