DCCC 854/2013





Joseph Nabeel

Before: HH Judge S D’Almada Remedios

Date: 7 November 2013 at 10.09 am

Present: Mr Philip Swainston, Solicitor on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Trevor Beer, instructed by Mike So, Joseph Lau & Co, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: Trafficking in dangerous drugs (販運危險藥物)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. You have admitted that on 26 June 2013, at the lift lobby of the 12th Floor, Block E of Chungking Mansions at Nathan Road, TsimSha Tsui, you trafficked in 5.17 grammes of a crystalline solid containing 4.90 grammes of methamphetamine hydrochloride, otherwisecommonly known as “Ice,” 0.06 grammes of a powder containing cocaine and 1.92 grammes of cannabis resin.

2. On the day in question, at about 4.45 pm, police officers were conducting an anti-crime patrol at Chungking Mansions. An officerspotted you on the 12th floor of the lift lobby and as soon as you saw the officer, you hesitated and turned away. Seeing thosecircumstances, the officer intercepted you and asked what you were doing there. You did not reply. You were holding a plastic bagand within that plastic bag were the drugs as stated in the charge. There were five bags of “Ice,” one bag containing the cannabisand one bag containing the cocaine. Also found in that plastic bag was an electronic scale and a quantity of plastic bags whichwere similar to the plastic bags used to contain the drugs.

3. At the time of arrest, you had in your possession HK$23-odd and 100 Pakistani Rupee.

4. The street value of the “Ice” was about $3,254, the cannabis $156 and cocaine $58.

5. Mr Trevor Beel, your counsel, has mitigated fully and thoroughly on your behalf today. I have taken into account the mitigationadvanced on your behalf. You are 33 years of age and came to Hong Kong in 2010 illegally and have since applied for asylum and havebeen granted a conditional stay upon recognisance. You were born in Pakistan and received education up to high school in Pakistan. You have one previous conviction for possession of dangerous drugs, to which you were sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment in September2012.

6. Mr Beel has helpfully referred this court to the authority of Attorney General v Ching Kwok Hung which is the guideline for trafficking in “Ice,” and also in the case of Attorney General v Tuen Shui Ming & Another for trafficking in cannabis resin. He also correctly points out that you were trafficking in a combination of drugs.

7. In my view, the cannabis and the cocaine were of such a negligible quantity that I shall not take this into account when sentencingyou for this offence of trafficking.

8. Defendant, following the guidelines in Ching Kwok Hung, the first bracket of up to 10 grammes, the sentence should range from between 3 to 7 years’ imprisonment. You were traffickingin 4.90 grammes of “Ice.” In those circumstances, Defendant, and following the guidelines, had I convicted you after trial,I would have taken a starting point of 5 years’ imprisonment. However, you have pleaded guilty and you deserve the full one-thirddiscount, and that shall be reduced to 3 years and 4 months’ imprisonment to which you shall be so sentenced.

(S. D’Almada Remedios)
District Judge