CRIMINAL CASE NO. 444 OF 2011
COURT: The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug, namely 250.34 grammes of a powder containing172.25 grammes of ketamine.
He was stopped by Customs officers and on a search of the shopping bag he was carrying, the drugs were found inside that shoppingbag. He, after his arrest, denied, under caution, that he owned or had knowledge of the drug.
The defendant is aged 32 and single. He has some six previous convictions and one of the charges he has been convicted of previouslywas possession of a dangerous drug for which he was sent to a Drug Addiction Treatment Centre. He was released from the Drug AddictionTreatment Centre in December 2010 but was arrested for this present offence some six months later, in June last year. So it is clearthat his previous sentence was not enough to deter him from drugs.
I am told by counsel for the defendant, Mr Kwan, that the defendant had agreed to deliver these drugs for $1,000. It is, as Mr Kwansaid, stupid of the defendant because, in exchange for $1,000, he is to lose his liberty for several years. Drug traffickers normallylike to use people like the defendant who need the money.
As Mr Kwan correctly pointed out, the guidelines have been laid down in the case of The Secretary for Justice and Hii Siew Cheng,  1 HKLRD 1. The defendant has pleaded guilty to trafficking in 172.25 grammes which falls into the 50 to 300 grammes category with a guidelinesentence of 6 to 9 years’ imprisonment as a starting point. So for the present offence, the starting point will be in the regionof 7 to 7½ years.
Counsel for the defendant, Mr Kwan, has said everything he can on behalf of the defendant and there is nothing unusual in his backgroundthat would cause me to depart from the suggested guidelines. I will adopt in this case a 7-year starting point. Giving the defendantthe full one-third discount for his plea will reduce the sentence to 4 years and 8 months.
Therefore, the defendant goes to prison for 4 years and 8 months.