IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 377 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant was convicted after trial for trafficking 7.64 grammes of a solid containing 5.74 grammes of cocaine.
2. I gave full reasons for my verdict, I do not intend to repeat the facts or background of this case.
3. After conviction, I adjourned the sentence to today to obtain a background report. I also called for the case file of KCCC952/2007which imposed a term of imprisonment of 4 months which was suspended for 24 months on the defendant. He is in breach of this suspendedsentence.
4. I have read the background report and heard mitigation from the defendant’s counsel. I have taken it all into account. The defendantis not a man of clear record, he has 3 previous convictions. I do take into account none of them are drug-related.
5. Drug trafficking is a very serious offence. It is an activity that is harmful to the society on many, many levels and must be deterred. This is a view the courts have held and reviewed often. To support it and reinforce it, the courts have guidelines to adhere to.
6. There is authority where sentencing in concerned for those that traffic cocaine. It has been said time and time again the guidelinesof Lau Tak Ming  apply to cocaine. When up to 10 grammes of narcotic is trafficked, the court should consider a sentence of 2 to 5 years’imprisonment as appropriate. This is the first band of the guidelines in Lau Tak Ming.
7. Based on this authority and the purity of cocaine involved in this case, and having heard mitigation put forward on the defendant’sbehalf, I find a sentence of imprisonment of 3½ years would be an appropriate starting point for 5.74 grammes of cocaine. I seeno reason to give any further discount.
8. I will not activate the suspended sentence of KCCC952/2007. The offence is of a very different nature and it was about to expire;it has now expired. I exercise my discretion and do not activate this 4 months’ imprisonment.
9. Defendant, please stand up. For this offence of trafficking cocaine, you are sentenced to 3 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.
Leave to appeal by the defendant to Court of Appeal refused. Please refer to CACC300/2009 dated 29 October 2010