IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF APPEAL
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 295 OF 2014
(ON APPEAL FROM DCCC 602/2014)
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
Hon D Pang J (giving the reasons for judgment of the court):
1. On a charge sheet containing three counts, the appellant pleaded guilty to Charge 1, trafficking in 19.43 grammes of heroin, Charge 2, possession of apparatus fit for inhaling dangerous drugs, Charge 3, possession of 0.22 gramme of “ice” and 0.38 grammeof ketamine, and was sentenced to the respective terms of 3 years and 8 months’ imprisonment, 2 months’ imprisonment and 6 months’imprisonment. By ordering the sentence on Charge 2 to be wholly concurrent with the sentences on Charges 1 and 3, but 3 months ofthe sentence on Charge 3 to be served consecutively to the sentence on Charge 1, Judge Dufton (the sentencing judge) sentenced theappellant to the overall sentence of 3 years and 11 months’ imprisonment. Acting in person, the appellant applied for and was givenleave to appeal against her sentence by a single judge of this court (Macrae JA). Having heard her appeal, we allowed the appealand reduced her overall sentence to one of 3 years and 8 months’ imprisonment. These are our reasons.
2. On 17 May 2014, in a stop and search outside 52 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, the appellant was found to be in possession of twoplastic bags containing a total of 7.74 grammes of heroin. Under caution, the appellant admitted trafficking in those dangerousdrugs (Charge 1). A search was then conducted at the appellant’s home in Shek Kip Mei Estate. There, the police discovered:
Under caution, the appellant stated that the heroin in the three plastic bags was for trafficking but the “ice” and the ketaminewere for her own consumption.
Background and mitigation
3. The appellant was aged 40. She had six previous convictions. Amongst those convictions were one for each of the offence of possessionof dangerous drugs and possession of drug‑inhaling equipment. The appellant had not, before the present case, been convicted oftrafficking in dangerous drugs. She resorted to drug trafficking after her boyfriend was sent to prison. It was said that she didso out of financial pressure.
The original sentence
4. The sentencing judge said:
Ground of appeal
5. Mr H Y Wong, who did not receive his instructions until after leave to appeal was granted, put forward two but in effect one groundof appeal. The short point of his complaint was that the sentencing judge erred in ordering three months of the sentence on Charge3 to be served consecutively to the sentence on Charge 1, thus rendering the overall sentence manifestly excessive.
6. There is clearly merit in this appeal.
7. As the single judge pointed out in his judgment on the leave application, had the appellant been trafficking in all of the dangerousdrugs found in her possession, both on the street and at her home, including the small amounts of albeit different drugs (“ice”and ketamine), the overall starting point would have been the same as the one adopted in respect of Charge 1.
See also HKSAR v Or Wai Tong, CACC 250/2009 (3 December 2009, unreported) where the Ip case was cited with approval.
9. Mr N Wong, for the respondent, did not seek to argue otherwise.
10. For the above reasons, we allowed the appellant’s appeal, quashed the judge’s order that three months of the sentence on Charge3 be served consecutively to that on Charge 1 and ordered the sentences on all three charges to be served wholly concurrently.
Mr Wong Hay Yiu, instructed by Boase Cohen & Collins,assigned by Director of Legal Aid, for the appellant
Mr Nicholas Wong SPP, of the Department of Justice, for the respondent
 All the quantitative references in this judgment are by weight of the drug’s pure narcotic content.
 Ip was charged with and pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing dangerous drugs (Count 1), one count of trafficking in dangerousdrugs, namely 50.7 grammes of cocaine and 3.04 grammes of “ice” (Count 2) and one count of possession of dangerous drugs, namely0.31 grammes of cocaine (Count 3). While the drugs forming the subject matter of Count 2 were found in a room that Ip had rented,the small amount of drug involved in Count 3 was found in his shoulder bag. The sentencing judge nevertheless ordered the sentenceon Count 3 to be served consecutively to the concurrent terms passed on Count 1 and Count 2. Ip appealed.
 Coram: Ma CJHC (as Ma CJ then was) and Stock VP.