IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 47 OF 2011
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. You have admitted that on 16 November 2010, at a staircase in King Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O, in Hong Kong, you unlawfully traffickedin 153.19 grammes of a powder containing 114.18 grammes of ketamine.
2. On the day in question, at about 2 am, police officers of the Special Duties Squad of the Kwun Tong Police District were conductingan operation at that estate. They saw you walking down from the 23rd floor, when you saw them you immediately turned round and walkedquickly upstairs. You were intercepted and searched. Inside a plastic bag held by you were 11 smaller plastic bags containing thedrugs.
3. You were arrested and cautioned. You admitted that you were there to deliver the ketamine on behalf of someone for a financialreward.
4. In a subsequent video-recorded interview, you admitted that a man named Ah Tim asked you to deliver the ketamine on his behalf. You were to deliver those drugs to someone, an unknown person on the 22nd floor. For this delivery you would receive $800 in remuneration. You were, however, intercepted before you were able to deliver the drugs.
5. The estimated street value of the drugs was approximately $17,770. At the time, you had in your possession cash in the sum of $150.
6. Mr Philip Li, your solicitor, has made very full and thorough mitigation on your behalf this morning. I have taken into accountall that he has had to say. You are a young man aged 21 and single. You have just turned 21 last month, 7 January. Therefore,at the time you committed this offence, you were aged 20.
7. You have three previous convictions on two occasions. Those are one of possession of dangerous drugs and two of using a false instrument. For the using of a false instrument which you committed in 2008 after the dangerous-drug conviction, you were sentenced to detentioncentre.
8. You completed Form 3 education and worked as a waiter after your completion of studies in 2005. You live with your mother and brotherand, quite unfortunately, your father passed away some five years ago from cancer when you were aged 15.
9. I have taken into account the matters that are stated in the letters written to me by yourself and your elder brother who is aged29. He has, I believe, accurately stated the position of the family and yourself. In summary, despite your young age, you havenot been very law-abiding and have disappointed the family tremendously. This, he believes which is the usually the case, is asa result of you making friends with bad peers and going astray as a result of their influence. As you rightly say, you were greedyand chose to earn quick money by illegal means.
10. You have told me and through your plea of guilty have shown me that you are remorseful for your misdeeds. You understand that asa result of this very serious crime, you will of course lose your liberty for quite a long time.
11. As your solicitor rightly points out, there are specific guidelines for trafficking in ketamine. Those guidelines are laid downin the case of the Secretary for Justice v Hii Siew Cheng. You fall in the fourth bracket of the tariffs which are guidelines set down for 50 to 300 grammes. A starting point after trialin that bracket would be between 6 to 9 years’ imprisonment.
12. Defendant, you have trafficked in a sum of 114.18 grammes of ketamine. In view of the amount of drugs involved, Defendant, I wouldhave taken a starting point of 6 years’ imprisonment had I convicted you after trial. However, giving you full credit for yourplea of guilty, I reduce that term to one of 4 years’ imprisonment.