HKSAR v. CHOI WING MAN AND ANOTHER

CACC000734A/1997

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL

1997, No.734
(Criminal)

BETWEEN
HKSAR
AND
CHOI WING-MAN (D1)

CHUNG HO-LONG (D2)

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Coram: Power, V.-P., Rogers and Stuart-Moore, JJ.A.

Date of Hearing: 22 October 1998

Date of Judgment: 22 October 1998

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J U D G M E N T

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Stuart-Moore, J.A. (giving the judgment of the Court):

1. The facts of this case appear in the judgment which was delivered on 16th July 1998, relating to applications for leave to appealagainst conviction. In the result, D1’s conviction on the first charge was quashed, but the conviction for the more serious offence(charge 2) was upheld. D2’s application failed in relation to both charges. D1 and D2 now seek leave to appeal against sentence.

2. Judge Wilson, in passing sentence, commented that this was a sophisticated and complicated fraud which was prevented from takingplace by a highly efficient police operation. He concluded that a sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment for these two offences was appropriateand made the sentences concurrent, having regard to the fact that, although they were quite separate offences, they were part ofone overall scheme.

3. Turning to the position of D2, we are quite satisfied that the judge was entirely right in his assessment of the case and of thesentence that he concluded was appropriate for the two offences taken together. Mr. Macrae, for D1, has described the case as anold-fashioned swindle in the making. He is no doubt right, but the potential losses were enormous. The ground of appeal, which isadvanced by Mr. Kynoch, for D2, namely that the judge failed to consider that this was the first offence of dishonesty committedby D2, we think must have been put forward, putting it as mildly as we can, with tongue in cheek. There is no merit in that argument.D2’s previous record includes a 12-year prison sentence for trafficking in dangerous drugs.

4. As for D1, who was a man of previous good character and who has now partly succeeded on his appeal against conviction, we are ofthe opinion that these two factors enable us to make some distinction between the two Applicants.

5. In these circumstances, we shall give leave to D1. Treating this hearing as the appeal, we reduce his sentence on charge 2 from 5years’ imprisonment to 4 years’ imprisonment.

6. There being no merit at all in D2’s application, it is dismissed.

(N.P. Power) (A. Rogers) (M. Stuart-Moore)
Vice-President Justice of Appeal Justice of Appeal

Representation:

Mr. I.C. McWalters, S.A.D.P.P. for D.P.P./Respondent

Mr. Andrew Macrae instructed by Messrs. Littlewoods for D1/Applicant.

Mr. James Kynoch instructed by Messrs. Littlewoods for D2/Applicant.