IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 445 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. The defendant has pleaded guilty to an offence of Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs.
2. The particulars of the offence are that on 16 March 2009, outside a room in the Chung King Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui she unlawfullytrafficked in dangerous drugs, namely, 10.28 grammes of pure cocaine and 68.47 grammes of cannabis resin.
3. The summary of facts admitted by the defendant disclosed that at just before 3 o’clock on the afternoon of the offence, the defendantwas seen leaving a room on 15th Floor of Chung King Mansions. Police officers stopped and searched her and inside a bag that shewas carrying they found the drugs, the subject of the charge. At the time of her detention she claimed that they were for her ownconsumption. The street value of the drugs I am told is just slightly less than $20,000.
4. The defendant has one previous conviction for a dissimilar offence. In July 2008 for breach of condition of stay she was sent toprison for one month but that was suspended for a period of 12 months.
5. In mitigation I am told that the defendant is from Indonesia. She is 26 years of age. She is married and, at the present time, sheis six months pregnant. At the time of her arrest she was living in a flat in the Chung King Mansions and in fact it was the flatshe was seen leaving on the day of her arrest.
6. I am told that her husband is on remand himself for other offences. I am told that the defendant came to Hong Kong in January 2006as a domestic helper. That position was terminated in 2007 but she did not return to Indonesia. Following her arrest on the breachof condition of stay offence in 2007 she claimed that she had problems in Indonesia and is currently awaiting assessment for asylumpurposes.
7. Defence counsel has submitted to the court a letter written by the defendant in English, which sets out much of what he urges uponme in mitigation. In her letter she claims that she is very remorseful for this offence and that it was committed because of financialpressures coming from her family in Indonesia. She has been financing the studies of her sister in Indonesia. She says that she wantsto be a good mother and asks for leniency from the court.
8. In respect of the offence of trafficking in cocaine in the quantities involved in this case, the usual starting point would be 5years’ imprisonment. For offences of trafficking in cannabis resin under 2,000 grammes the usual sentence is up to 16 months’imprisonment. The defendant is also in breach of the suspended sentence imposed by the court in July 2008.
9. In respect of the drugs found in the defendant’s possession, I am going to take a starting point of 5 years’ imprisonment andreduce that by one-third to reflect the defendant’s guilty plea. In respect of that offence therefore the defendant will go toprison for 40 months. As regards the suspended sentence, I activate that suspended sentence and order that the period run concurrentlywith the sentence I have imposed for the drugs offence. The defendant will therefore serve a sentence of 40 months in total.