Fan Po-chu


Before: H H Judge Tallentire

Date: 11 October 2011 at 9.32 am

Present: Mr Sharman Lam, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Mak Yiu-wah, Bilian, of B Mak & Co., assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant

Offence: Attempted robbery (企圖搶劫罪)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to a single offence of attempted robbery, contrary to section 10 of the Theft Ordinance, Cap.210, and section 159G of the Crimes Ordinance, Cap.200.

2. You admitted the brief facts and I convicted you. The facts were as follows.

3. PW1, who is aged 25, was employed by Kai Bo Food Supermarket at the Ground Floor, Hong Tai House, Cheung Hong Estate, Tsing Yi.He was working as a cashier on 26 April of this year. At about 1910 hours, PW1 saw that you wore a surgical mask and sunglasses. He recognised you as an ex-member of staff. You were holding a knife which was approximately 4 inches long. You took a piece ofwatermelon and lined up at the cashier counter. You then pointed the knife at PW1 and demanded all the money. However, PW1 screamedand you fled.

4. PW2, who is the manager, recognised you from the CCTV.

5. You were arrested that day and found to be in possession of the mask, sunglasses and melon at your residence.

6. You admitted to two convictions, both subsequent to the commission of this offence. In fact, you are currently serving a sentenceof imprisonment and your earliest date of release is next month.

7. Mr Mak on your behalf entered mitigation, including the production of the probation report and psychiatric reports presented tothe Magistrates’ Court when you admitted the two other offences. He told me that you are aged 50, and whilst a weapon was used,it was only 4 inches long and a fruit knife. You are very remorseful for what you have done and promise not to commit any furtheroffences. At the time of the offence you were in financial difficulties as you needed to contribute to the welfare of your elderlyparents but were unemployed. The offence itself was committed on impulse rather than being planned. You have psychiatric problemsand I am told that you have previously tried to commit suicide.

8. I should tell you that in the meantime I have considered the psychiatric reports and of course the probation report and have takenthose into account when you are sentenced.

9. Mr Mak also said that you had relationship problems.

10. He referred me to four sentencing authorities, one of which was my own, also the well-known case of Mo Kwong Sang, CACC359/1981. It is suggested that I should adopt a lesser starting point in all the circumstances than 5 years based on the mitigationhe had provided and he also urged that I should run that period concurrently with the remaining part of your sentence.

11. I turn now to the sentence.

12. I accept that this was committed on impulse to a large extent, that nothing of value was actually taken, no injuries were inflictednor damage done. Also, that the weapon itself, whilst capable of causing injury, was not of the most deadly, it was a small fruitknife. I also note at the time of the commission of this offence you had no previous convictions. From the facts of the case itis very easy to see that you lost your resolve very easily indeed. I have taken into account your personal and domestic problems,including your psychiatric illness.

13. I agree with Mr Mak that a lower starting point than 5 years should be adopted. This is based on the peculiar circumstances ofthis case. I therefore take as a starting point 51 months’ imprisonment, that is 4 years and 3 months. That will be reduced byone-third for your plea of guilty to 34 months. However, this is a separate and distinct offence from the other matters for whichyou are serving imprisonment. It will be served consecutively to that period.

District Judge