HKSAR v. CHO HOI KIT

DCCC211/2012

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 211 OF 2012

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HKSAR
v.
Cho Hoi-kit

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Before: H H Judge S. D’Almada Remedios

Date: 17 April 2012 at 3.21 pm

Present: Mr Winston Chan, SPP, of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Yaddy Cheung, of Yaddy Cheung & Co., for the Defendant

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

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. You admitted that on 9 January 2012, you unlawfully trafficked in 12.12 grammes of a powder containing 6.52 grammes of ketamine,0.78 grammes of a crystalline solid containing 0.78 grammes of methamphetamine hydrochloride and two tablets containing 3 milligrammesof nimetazepam.

2. This was a simple stop and search which at about 2.05 am on 9 January you were driving your private car in Sai Sha Road when youwere stopped by the police at a police roadblock. You were the driver of the car at the time and in the glove compartment betweenthe driver’s seat and the passenger seat the drugs (in the charge) were found contained in three separate metal boxes.

3. You admitted that you had just prior to being stopped made a delivery of drugs and sold drugs to buyers in Tai Po. You were on yourway about to sell drugs to some other buyers in Sai Kung when you were intercepted by the police. You had informed the police thatyou had used the earnings of your trafficking to finance your own drug addiction.

4. Mr Yaddy Cheung, your solicitor, has made very full and thorough mitigation on your behalf and I have taken into account all thathe has had to say.

5. You are aged 29. You were born in Hong Kong. You have nine previous convictions, three of which are for possession of dangerousdrugs and one of which is for possession of equipment fit and intended for smoking or injecting drugs. You are divorced and livewith your mother. You were a transportation worker.

6. As can be seen from your record, as Mr Cheung rightly pointed out, you first transgressed the law when you were a very young managed 15. Since then, as you have recognised and said in your letter written to me quite frankly, that you have transgressed thelaw again and again since then. You have told me in your letter that you wish to turn a new leaf although you think I will disbelieveyou but that you are determined to do so as you have now realised the good family support you receive from your mother and sister,who are here today.

7. As for turning a new leaf, I would like to believe you but the ball is in your court and not mine. You are right to appreciate andreflect the fact that your mother and sister are fully supportive of you despite your transgressions again and again and again.

8. Your mother and sister in their letter to me realise that your mother has perhaps overlooked your supervision and that you mixedwith bad peers. Your mother has said that your father died of cancer when you were very young, aged 9, and that was a huge blowto her and the family. After that she has had to take up the sole responsibility to raise yourself and your sister. However, despiteher responsibility and care of you, you continued in your bad ways and this has resulted in her having depression and being on medicationfor over 10 years. Your sister has also changed her ways and is now a Christian and is praying all the time for you. They both hopethat you will change and stay away from drugs and bad friends and become a new man.

9. You are very fortunate to have them still supporting you despite all the years that you have caused them grief and despair. I certainlyhope that what you tell me is sincere and that you will make every effort to turn a new leaf and give some satisfaction to your motherand sister.

10. Having said that, you have heard from your solicitor, Mr Cheung, that trafficking in dangerous drugs is a very, very serious offence. The only course open to this court is one of an immediate period of imprisonment.

11. There are clear tariffs laid down by the Court of Appeal for trafficking in dangerous drugs. The drugs that you were traffickingin were a mixture of drugs of ketamine, “Ice” and a small amount of nimetazepam. For the nimetazepam, as the amount is nominal,I shall disregard that amount when considering the appropriate term of imprisonment.

12. For the quantity of drugs you had in respect of ketamine, that is 6.52 grammes of ketamine, the appropriate starting point had Iconvicted you after a trial would have been one of 3 years’ imprisonment. For the drugs “Ice”, in following the tariffs, for0.78 grammes the appropriate starting point for that quantity of “Ice” would also be one 3 years’ imprisonment after trial.

13. I take the combined approach in sentencing you in respect of these two types of drugs. For these two drugs, the total term wouldamount to 6 years’ imprisonment had I sentenced you for the total amount of drugs involved.

14. Defendant, I take the starting point of 6 years imprisonment. You have pleaded guilty and have shown your remorse. You have savedthe court time, and in those circumstances you will have the appropriate one-third discount and therefore you shall be sentencedto 4 years’ imprisonment.

(S. D’Almada Remedios)
District Judge

Please refer to CACC170/2012 for the relevant appeal(s) to the Court of Appeal.