HKSAR v. HO MING LOK

DCCC1063/2008,
DCCC245 & 453/2009 (CONS)

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1063 OF 2008 AND 245 & 453 OF 2009 (CONSOLIDATED)

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HKSAR
v.
Ho Ming-lok (D10)

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Before:

Deputy District Judge J. Lam

Date:

6 November 2009 at 9.51 am

Present:

Mr John Dunn, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Boey Chung, instructed by Benson Li & Co., assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant

Offence:

Conspiracy to sell, offer or expose for sale infringing copies of a copyright work for the purpose of or in the course of any tradeor business without the licence of the copyright owner of the work
(串謀在未獲版權作品的版權擁有人的特許下,為任何貿易或業務的目的,或在任何貿易或業務的過程中,出售、要約出售或為出售而展示該作品的侵犯版權複製品)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. The 10th defendant is convicted on Charge 1 on his own plea. The facts are clearly set out in the Summary of Facts, which indicatethat this defendant, together with others, between 3 July 2007 and 23 June 2008, conspired in the business involving infringing copyrightworks.

2. The defendant was born on 2 October 1990, so now he is just over 19 and when he committed this crime he was between 17 and 18. Thedefendant has two previous convictions, the first being in April 2008 for possession of dangerous drugs. He was fined $1,000 on thatoccasion. In February this year, he was sentenced in the High Court to 4 years and 8 months’ imprisonment for trafficking in dangerousdrugs. Defence counsel says the defendant was arrested for that trafficking in dangerous drugs offence about a month after his arrestin the present case, i.e., he was arrested in July 2008 for that trafficking case.

3. Defence counsel tells this court that the defendant has studied up to Form 3. He used to live with his family, including his parentsand a younger brother.

4. Defence counsel mentions the sentence received by some co-defendants in that Charge 1, i.e., D4, D5 and D7. After their plea ofguilty they were each given 7 months’ imprisonment. I am told the other judge adopted a starting point of 12 months’ imprisonmentin that case and after some discount those three were given 7 months’ imprisonment each. Those three defendants had some othercharges and they were dealt with accordingly. Defence counsel asks me to be lenient towards this young man, i.e., D10. He says D10was only a small potato in the present case.

5. Defence counsel might be right in describing D10 as a small potato in the whole conspiracy, but the big guns do need small potatoesto assist them to perpetrate such a form of business. It is unfortunate that a young man like D10 would succumb to the big guns’request and it is more unfortunate that a young man like D10 would commit one offence after another.

6. The offence relating to Charge 1 in the present case is actually quite serious. There are many factors to consider in sentencinga young man like D10. If you are not serving a prison sentence, I would call for appropriate reports like Training Centre report.But since you have to serve a lengthy sentence for that trafficking in dangerous drugs case, I do not think I have any other optionbut to impose a prison term straight away.

7. A starting point of 12 months’ imprisonment is appropriate in your case. I give you one-third discount for your plea of guilty.On Charge 1, you are sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment. Considering your young age and considering that you have to serve a ratherlengthy sentence for that trafficking in dangerous drugs case (though it is a separate case, on theory, I can impose a consecutivesentence to that), I accept your counsel’s plea for leniency. I would order half of the present term, that is, 4 months, are torun concurrently with your sentence given in that High Court case.

(J. Lam)
Deputy District Judge