HKSAR v. CHOI LIM YAN

DCCC350/2011

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 350 OF 2011

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HKSAR
v.
Choi Lim-yan
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Before: Deputy District Judge J. Lam

Date: 7 July 2011 at 9.39 am

Present: Mr Wong Chun-hin Derek, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Cheung Chung-lai Eric, of Messrs Chong & Yen, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant

Offence: Possession of a dangerous drug (管有危險藥物)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. Defendant pleads guilty to the amended charge of simple possession of dangerous drug. The drugs involved were 12.66 grammes of powdercontaining 8.77 grammes of ketamine.

2. On the 11 February 2011, police officers found the defendant coming out of this premises in Cheung Chau. They stopped the defendantand searched his premises. Inside the living room they found one bag of ketamine, that is 7.28 grammes of powder containing 4.97grammes of ketamine, a segment of a plastic straw containing 0.11 grammes of powder containing 0.07 grammes of ketamine.

3. In the defendant’s bedroom 14 bags of ketamine were found. They were held together by a rubber-band. The weight of those drugswas 5.27 grammes of powder containing 3.73 grammes of ketamine.

4. Defendant under caution admitted that the drugs found in the living room and in his bedroom were his. Defendant was living withhis mother and sibling at that premises, though the mother said that she seldom lived there.

5. Defendant is aged 27. He had one previous conviction in 2002 for possession of Part 1 poison. He was fined on that occasion.

6. Defendant is convicted of simple possession of dangerous drugs. This court is obliged to called for a DATC report. The reportis available now and it details defendant’s background. It concludes that defendant is not a drug-dependant, so he is not suitablefor admission to DATC.

7. Defence counsel says, imprisonment is inevitable. He says the starting point should be within the range of 12 to 18 months. Heis right. Although the purity of ketamine, 8.77 grammes of which, is not a very small quantity, counsel says there is still no latentrisk. I agree that quantity is not up to the amount that calls for consideration for latent risk. But that quantity does justifya term of immediate imprisonment within the range as stated by defence counsel.

8. This is the first time the defendant has been convicted of possession of dangerous drugs. He has been cooperative with the policeand has admitted to his guilt in court. I believe his family and all who concern him would wish he will start a new leaf as soonas possible. In the present case, I would adopt 12 months imprisonment as a starting point, I give defendant one-third discountfor his plea of guilty, I sentence him to 8 months’ imprisonment.

(J. Lam)
Deputy District Judge