IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO.210OF 2010
Reasons for sentence
1. We are dealing with the sentence of D2. He pleaded guilty to 2 charges of blackmail and 1 charge of theft. D2 was jointly chargedwith D1 in all 3 charges. D1 had pleaded guilty earlier before HH Judge Yip and had been sentenced.
2. I have had the opportunity to read the reasons for sentence of HH Eddie Yip in relation to D1. Judge Yip took into considerationthe young age of the first victim PW1, that the blackmails were premeditated and organised, that the mother of PW1 was also blackmailed,and that the whole incident must have caused great suffering for mother and child. Judge Yip adopted a starting point of 27 months’imprisonment on both charges 1 and 2, and a starting point of 12 months’ imprisonment on charge 4. Having granted D1 the 1/3 discountin recognition of D1’s guilty plea, Judge Yip ordered that all the sentences to be served concurrently on the ground that all 4offences that D1 was facing arose out of the same transaction. D1 was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months’ imprisonment in total.
3. As pointed out by Judge Yip, there are no sentencing guidelines on blackmail cases. It is however usually visited with a term ofimprisonment.
4. There is no evidence of triad involvement in this case. I do not agree with D2’s legal representative in her submission that D2took a secondary role in the whole matter. In the admitted summary of facts, there is evidence that D1 remained on the phone withD2 while he was dealing with PW2. The facts also disclosed that at one stage D1 passed the phone to PW2 so that she could speak directlywith D2. Furthermore, D2 was heard to have instructed D1 over the phone to take the 4,500 first and then delete the video clips.These are conclusive evidence to show that rather than D1 being the mastermind of this racket and D2 playing a minor role, it wasclear that D2 was playing an important and deciding role.
5. I have taken into consideration that this is a premeditated and organised plan to blackmail. The defendants targeted vulnerableyoung person like PW1 and caused a serious scare to his mother as well. The fact that D2’s mother is suffering from cancer is notin itself a mitigating factor.
6. I bear in mind that I should as far as possible avoid any serious disparity in sentence between the 2 defendants.
Charge 1 and 2
7. In relation to charges 1 and 2, I will adopt a starting point of 33 months’ imprisonment, reducing that to 22 months’imprisonmentupon D2’s guilty plea.
8. I will adopt a starting point of 18 months’ imprisonment, reducing it to 12 months’ imprisonment.
9. I will order that all sentences to be served concurrently, D2 is therefore sentenced to a total of 22 months’imprisonment.