COURT: The defendant, aged about 23 when he pleaded guilty at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court to this charge of trafficking in asolid containing just over 40 grammes of cocaine, is someone whose record, for present purposes, is not directly relevant and I shallignore it.
He has confirmed his plea of guilty and, through his counsel, he has expanded upon the facts which were also agreed. In short, thedefendant was seen acting rather furtively at the Lok Ma Chau Border Control Point and, as a result, was searched. The cocaine wasfound in two separate wraps and he made out to the arresting officers that he was in possession of the cocaine merely for the purposesof personal consumption.
It is perfectly clear that this was not a true account because the value of this cocaine was $51,086 approximately, and it emergedin a later interview that the defendant had been unemployed for about two or three months. He told police, again in a story whichis now not adhered to, that he had used the whole of his $40,000 savings to purchase these drugs in order to go to the mainland andhave fun with friends.
Ms Campbell-Moffat, in a very eloquent address on the defendant’s behalf, has made it plain that this actually was trafficking inthe true sense because what actually happened was that a friend of the defendant’s got him to take drugs across to Shenzhen andhe was expecting to be paid about $5,000 for the job.
Under the guidelines in The Queen v Lau Tak Ming & Ors  2 HKLR at 370, as applied in Attorney-General v Pedro Nel Rojas  1 HKC 342, the sentencing band for 10 to 50 grammes of cocaine falls into the 5 to 8 year bracket.
What I propose to do in this particular case, having regard to all the circumstances, giving full credit also for a plea of guilty,I will take a starting point of 7 years’ imprisonment and impose the sentence of 4 years and 8 months.