IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO.224 OF 2003
(ON APPEAL FROM WSCC 228 OF 2003)
Coram: Deputy High Court Judge Day in Court
Date of Hearing: 25 April 2003
Date of Judgment: 25 April 2003
J U D G M E N T
1. This appellant appeared before the principal magistrate of Western Magistrates’ Court facing a single charge of possession of obscenearticles for the purpose of publication, contrary to section 21(1)(b) of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, Cap.390. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. He now complains that the sentence was too severe.
2. The facts which he admitted are all too familiar. He was arrested while selling obscene discs at a shop in Western. There were 338of such discs displayed on the shelves and they showed a variety of sexual acts.
3. The appellant is 52 and has 21 previous convictions, the majority of which are for drug offences. He complains today that othersin a similar situation to him have received lesser sentences.
4. Sentences for such offences are, of course, not fixed and will be within a range up to the court’s maximum. The starting point takenby the court for offences of this nature has recently been between 15 and 18 months. The following are but a few examples : HKSAR v. Tang Kam Cheung; HCMA 937/2000; HKSAR v. Choy Wing Wah, HCMA717/2001; HKSAR v. Chan Yuet Wing, HCMA741/1999; HKSAR v. Tan Po Jun, HCMA1351/2000, and HKSAR v. Chan Mun Tong, HCMA1350/2000. This is a common offence which attracts a sentence in a fairly stable band.
5. The magistrate in this case saw fit to sentence more leniently, starting at 12 months and reducing that to eight months to recognisethe appellant’s plea. There is nothing in the circumstances of this case to compel my interference. The appeal is dismissed.
Miss Mary Sin, GC of the Department of Justice, for the Respondent
The Appellant in person