IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1187 OF 2008
Before: H H Judge S. D’Almada Remedios
Date: 19 January 2009 at 11.46 am
Offence: Trafficking in a Dangerous Drug (販運危險藥物)
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (c) of the DangerousDrug Ordinance.
2. You have admitted that on 15 October 2008 at the junction of Yu Chau Street and Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, you unlawfullytrafficked in a dangerous drug, namely 42.02 grammes of mixture containing 33.69 grammes of heroin hydrochloride.
3. On 15 October at about 1 am, acting on information, police officers conducted an anti-dangerous drugs operation outside a restaurantin Sham Shui Po, namely Tai Ka Shek.
4. At about 1.40 am, a police officer observed you looking around suspiciously before entering the restaurant. The police officer followedyou into the restaurant and sat at your table. He declared his identity to you. He then took you outside the restaurant and atthe junction as stated in the particulars of the offence, searched you and found two resealable plastic bags in your left front trouserpocket. In those resealable plastic bags were white crystalline solids.
5. He declared arrest on you and cautioned you. Under caution you admitted, “Ah Sing asked me to deliver these white powder to NamCheong Park. I want to earn $500 for my living expense. It is my first time.” In a cautioned interview, you admitted that atabout 11.30 pm the night before you were arrested, Ah Sing had passed the paper bag containing the white powder to you outside TungChoi Street Park. You were told to deliver it to Nam Cheong Street, and somebody there would contact you and after passing the paperbag to that person, you would be given $500.
6. Your solicitor, Mr Chong, has made full mitigation on your behalf and I have taken into account all that he has had to say. Youare aged 62 and have 12 previous convictions. The last conviction was that in August 2007 to which you were sentenced to Drug AddictionTreatment Centre for an offence of possession of a dangerous drug. Your first brush with the law in respect of drugs was in 1975for possession of dangerous drugs, to which you were sentenced to DATC and that was a no conviction recorded.
7. Most of your other offences concern offences of dishonesty dating back to 1962. Mr Chong has said this is a very sad case, as youwere trafficking these drugs to raise a small amount of money, of some $500, and as you stated to the officer, you wanted to earn$500 for your living expenses as you were, or are, a beneficiary of CSSA. As seen from the antecedent, you have been a drug addictsince you were 24 years of age. Mr Chong has rightly referred me to the guideline case of Lau Tak-ming and he had originally asked me to take a starting point of 5 years’ imprisonment for this amount of drugs.
8. Having pointed out to him, however, by myself that these drugs fell within the bracket of between 10 and 50 grammes, of 5 to 8 years,I was of the view that 5 years would be much too low a starting point, given the quantity of drugs. The drugs involved in this caseis 33.69 grammes of heroin; this is not an insubstantial amount. For this amount of drugs, had I convicted you after trial, I wouldhave taken a starting point of 6 years, 9 months’ imprisonment. However, I must of course give you full credit for your plea ofguilty and the fact that you have saved the court time and shown your remorse, and reduce that term accordingly to one of 4 years,6 months, to which you are so sentenced.