IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1186 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to a single count of forgery, contrary to section 71 of the Crimes Ordinance, Cap. 200, Laws of Hong Kong, the particulars being that you, between 30 June 2008 and 16 April 2009, made false instruments, namely,454 Cosalgesic labels with a purported expiry date of June 2010, when in fact the expiry date was June 2009, with the intention thatthey be used to induce somebody to accept them as being genuine.
2. The brief facts which you have admitted quite simply confirm that in March of 2009 pharmacists from the Department of Health carriedout an inspection of your pharmaceutical company, Unipharm, and discovered numerous batches of labels, being the false instruments,indicating that the Cosalgesic tablets had an expiry date of June 2010. Many of the false labels had been affixed to bottles ofCosalgesic tablets.
3. Whilst the circumstances of the offence to which you have pleaded guilty is a serious matter as members of the public are entitledto expect accurate information regarding the shelf life of goods, in this case, medicine, I am satisfied from all the informationbefore me – and in this regard I am indebted to Mr Chui from the Department of Justice who has made inquiries and received confirmationfrom the relative agencies both here and in the United Kingdom – that there was no health hazard to anyone consuming these tabletsprior to the displayed expiry date of June 2010. Had there been any indication of it being otherwise, you can rest assured thatI would have had no hesitation but to impose an immediate custodial sentence upon you.
4. I am further given to understand, and accept, that with respect to these particular drugs their shelf life and period of validityis extendable by making an application to the Department of Health supported by documents from the manufacturer. This of courseyou did not do.
5. I have obtained a background report and a community service suitability report on you. Both reports are positive and a period ofcommunity service is indeed recommended.
6. In view of your clear record, your sense of remorse and the matters that I have referred to, I am persuaded that this matter canbe disposed of by making you the subject of a community service order which I do for a period of 240 hours.
7. In making this order I remind you that it is a condition of this order, firstly, that you are to perform the work in a satisfactorymanner. You are also to comply with any reasonable request of the supervising officer. My clerk will give you details as to whoyou should report to, but for the purposes of this record it is a Miss Stephanie Poon and you are to report to her on 28 April at9 o’clock in the morning.
8. The consequences of you breaching this order or the terms of it as I have described are that you can be re-arrested, brought backbefore this court and I can re-sentence you for this offence. Do you understand that?
9. That is my order, 240 hours’ community service.