IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1424 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. The defendant has pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs. The particulars of the offence are that on 30 October2009, in Yau Ma Tei, he trafficked in 5.25 grammes of pure ketamine and 4.48 grammes of “Ice.”
2. The facts admitted by the defendant disclose that on the morning of 30 October, three officers were in uniform at the junction ofTemple Street and Kansu Street when they saw the defendant and two other persons walking along the street. When the defendant andhis companions noticed the police officers, they turned round and tried to walk away. The officers became suspicious and interceptedthem.
3. The defendant was searched and in his front pocket of his trousers were found the drugs, the subject of the charge, and an electronicscale. When he was arrested at the scene, under caution, he said that the dangerous drugs and the scale did not belong to him. Hehad been given them to somebody called “Big Nose Fung” in a fast-food shop in Mongkok and instructed to deliver them to anotherperson in Yau Ma Tei. He said that Fung had arranged to phone him later to give him further instructions.
4. The defendant has appeared before the courts on previous occasions. In June 2006, for wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harmand for attempted theft, he was ordered to go to a detention centre. In September 2008, for possession of dangerous drugs, he wasimprisoned for a period of 4 weeks.
5. I am told in mitigation that the defendant is 18 years of age. He was born and educated in Hong Kong. He had worked previously ina hair salon, earning some $7,500 per month. His parents are aged 45. His mother is of similar age and unemployed and he has threeyounger brothers aged 10, 12 and 16. Counsel for the defence has told the court that he was not offered any reward for delivering
6. As regards sentencing in this case, the defendant will be aware that these offences attract a sentence of imprisonment. He has previouslybeen to prison for possession of dangerous drugs and this is clearly a more serious offence. The quantity of ketamine in this caseis 5.25 grammes and that would normally attract a sentence of about 3 years’ imprisonment. The quantity of “Ice” is 4.48 grammesand that would normally attract a sentence of about 4 and a half years’ imprisonment.
7. I consider that both of the drugs were found in the possession of the defendant for the purpose of trafficking on the same occasion.I therefore consider the issue of totality. In my view, an appropriate starting point for this offence is a sentence of 5 years’imprisonment. The only mitigation in this case is that the defendant has pleaded guilty. The defendant is therefore entitled to adiscount to reflect his guilty plea. The sentence will be reduced by one-third. The defendant will therefore serve a period of 40months’ imprisonment.