IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 749 OF 2011
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one offence of Trafficking in dangerous drugs contrary to sections 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance Cap.134. You admitted the Brief Facts and I convicted you.
2. Briefly what occurred is this. On 6 May 2011 at 2031 hours, PW1, a police officer saw you and two others walking towards Shun WoHouse, Wo Che Estate, Shatin. He and another officer intercepted you and the others and revealed their identities. You suddenlyfled towards Fung Wo House, they gave chase and intercepted you near the refuse room. PW1 searched you and found a plastic bag containingsuspected dangerous drugs in your right hand, (Exhibit 1). Under caution you admitted Exhibit 1 to be ketamine which was for yourown consumption and sharing with friends.
3. After arrest and further caution, you repeated that you would share Exhibit 1 with friends on the next day. This was further confirmedin a video recorded interview later. You further added that you had purchased Exhibit 1 from someone in Mongkok for $900. Subsequentanalysis showed Exhibit 1 to be 28.88 grammes of powder containing 17.26 grammes of ketamine. You possessed E1 for trafficking. At the time of your arrest you had $120 on your person. The street value of Exhibit 1 is approximately $2,359.
4. You admitted to two previous convictions, one of which related to dangerous drugs. On your behalf Mr Yip had very helpfully providedthe court with written mitigation and I am obliged for that. That written mitigation tells me that you are 23 years of age, educatedto form 4 and employed as a decoration worker with your uncle, earning $6,000 to $7,000 per month when work is available. When possibleyou gave $1,000 to $2,000 a month to your mother.
5. You come from a broken family. Your parents are divorced. You live with your mother and there has been little contact with yourfather up until now. Your mother has worked long hours in restaurants to try to support the family. I note that both your parentsare here today to support you.
6. You have two previous convictions, as I have said, but this is the first conviction for trafficking. I am told that you cooperatedfrom the outset with the police; that the drugs were not intended to be sold but were for self consumption and sharing with yourfriends.
7. Mr Yip emphasises that you have pleaded guilty on the first available opportunity. You have never, in the past, been to prison. You are a young man who came under the influence of bad peers and you suffered from lack of parental guidance. Mr Yip tells methat you are remorseful and that your long term plans are to seek better qualifications in order to enhance your career prospectson release; that you now have the support of both parents and it is your intention to continue involvement in the Catholic Church. In support of that there is a letter from Father Witherspoon which I have taken into account. I have also taken into account whatyou have written to me.
8. Mr Yip also pointed out that you are a young man and that I should bear in mind rehabilitation. He quite correctly identified thatthis amount of narcotic falls within the range of 4 to 6 years’ immediate imprisonment but urged me to take the lowest period asa starting point.
9. Trafficking in dangerous drugs is always a serious offence. This offence does not involve a small amount, however, on the positiveside, I do accept that you did not intend to sell it commercially and would have used it for self-consumption and sharing with yourfriends. This will be reflected in the starting point that I take. Also I accept that you were fully cooperative with police afterarrest and this has continued as shown by your plea of guilty. I accept that you are remorseful and note this is the first timeyou have committed the offence of trafficking. It is very positive that you now enjoy the support of both parents and that you willseek the guidance and obtain the guidance of a Christian church on release.
10. Taking all the factors into account, I agree with Mr Yip as to the starting point, therefore, I do take the starting point suggestedof 4 years and reduce it to 32 months for your plea of guilty.