HKSAR v. CHENG TAI YUNG

DCCC 448/2013

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 448 OF 2013

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HKSAR
v
CHENG TAI-YUNG

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Before: HH Judge Dufton

Date: 17 June 2013

Present: Ms Winsome Chan, SPP, of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Trevor Chan of WT Law Offices assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)

REASONS FOR SENTENCE

1. The defendant pleads guilty to one charge of trafficking in 7.79 grammes of a solid containing 4.98 grammes of cocaine, contraryto section 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Chapter 134.

2. In summary in the early hours of the 10 March this year the police suspected the defendant to be in possession of dangerous drugsand therefore intercepted him outside the bus stop on Ma Wang Road in Yuen Long. Upon search the police found from the left backpocket of the defendant’s jeans a re-sealable transparent plastic bag containing a total of 29 re-sealable bags inside which wasthe cocaine subject of the charge. Cash in the total sum of $22,088.50 was also found from the left front pocket of the jeans.

3. In passing sentence I have carefully considered everything said on behalf of the defendant by Mr Chan together with the mitigationletter written by the defendant. I take into account that the defendant is only 21 and has no similar convictions for traffickingin dangerous drugs, his only convictions being 6 years ago when he was 15.

4. The courts have equated for sentencing purposes cocaine with heroin (seeAttorney General v Pedro Nel Rojas [1994] 2 HKCLR 69). InR v Lau Tak-ming [1990] 2 HKLR 370 the Court of Appeal laid down guidelines for trafficking in heroin. The court said that the sentence upon conviction after trialwhere the quantity of narcotic is up to 10 grammes is between 2 and 5 years imprisonment.

5. Taking into account all the circumstances I am satisfied the proper starting point after trial for 4.98 grammes of cocaine is 3years and 6 months imprisonment. Giving the defendant full credit for his plea of guilty he is convicted and sentenced to 2 yearsand 4 months imprisonment.

(D. J. DUFTON)
District Judge