HKSAR v. HO CHI FUNG

DCCC198/2011

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONGSPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 198 OF 2011

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HKSAR
v.
Ho Chi-fung

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Before:

H H Judge Tallentire

Date:

7 April 2011 at 10.28 am

Present:

Mr Alex Wong, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Miss Kelly Ho, of C K Mok & Co., assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant

Offence:

Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to a single 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. The facts were as follows. Police patrolling the ground floor of Cheung Yam House, On Yam Estate, Kwai Chung, saw you acting suspiciously. Upon interception and search, a plastic bag containing another plastic bag of white powder was found at the waist area under yourjeans. After caution, you admitted to selling ‘K chai’ to earn money for your family.

3. In a subsequent video-recorded interview under caution you admitted that you met Ah Man earlier at an internet cafe who asked youto deliver the ‘K chai’ for $500. Being short of money, you agreed to do so. You collected the dangerous drugs from Ah Manin Kowloon City Park and then went to On Yam Estate to wait for someone to collect them. No one turned up and you were arrestedon your way to returning the drugs to Ah Man.

4. You said that you have been addicted to ketamine for about 2 years, taking approximately 1 gramme three times a week. Analysisshowed it to be 251.82 grammes of powder containing 121.96 grammes of ketamine. The estimated street value is approximately $29,211.12.

5. You admitted to one previous conviction. That related to dangerous drugs and resulted in a sentence of DATC.

6. On your behalf, Miss Ho entered mitigation. She told me that you are 22 years of age, born in the Mainland, and that your fatherabandoned you and your mother when you were only 4 years old. Your step-father is a Hong Kong resident, aged 75, and you have astep-brother and a step-sister. Your mother still resides in the Mainland.

7. I am told that you came to Hong Kong in 2000, but you found it difficult to adjust, and so you returned to the Mainland to continueyour primary education. You returned to Hong Kong in 2003 and you had a succession of jobs. Miss Ho tells me that you tried towork hard to support your family. Unfortunately you fell into bad company and you became addicted to ketamine. The result of thiswas your conviction of 2009 and being sentenced to DATC. You were released from DATC in 2010. In that year your girlfriend gavebirth to a child, but she has now left you. You committed the present offence out of financial hardship. You have been unemployedsince your release from DATC.

8. Miss Ho emphasised your remorse, as shown by your plea of guilty. She told me that she had explained the tariff to you. She invitedme to consider taking a probation officer’s report, that is, a probation officer’s background report. However, having consideredthat, I cannot think that it would add anything to the facts of this case. Your background has been put before me comprehensively.

9. I turn now to the sentence. This is an extremely serious offence committed by a young man with a previous conviction relating todrugs. It involves trafficking in a substantial amount of ketamine. Only an immediate sentence of imprisonment of some length isappropriate in these circumstances.

10. The only real mitigation here is your plea of guilty. Given the nature of the offence, your relative youth is of no assistanceto you.

11. In this case I take a starting point of 7 years’ imprisonment, that is 84 months. You are entitled to one-third discount. Youwill receive that.

12. You will go to prison for 4 years and 8 months, that is 56 months.

Tallentire
District Judge