IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 145 OF 2009
Before: Deputy District Judge Eddie Yip
Date: 21 April 2009 at 2:45pm
Charge: Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)
Reasons for Sentence __________________
Reasons for Sentence
The charge and facts
1. The defendant pleads guilty to the charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug. In the evening of 20 November 2008, the police foundthe Defendant suspicious when he was leaving the building situated at No. 405 Nathan Road at about 10:22 p.m. They followed himuntil he suddenly fled. They chased up and stopped him. A body search on him revealed one transparent bag containing white substanceinside the front pocket of his trousers. After arrest and caution, he said someone had given him HK$500 for taking it to a blackvehicle at the “Element”. The government chemist certified that it contained 27.11 grammes of a solid containing 18.35 grammesof cocaine.
2. The Defendant is 25 years of age. He has received F. 2 education in Hong Kong. He has done various unskilled casual jobs. He liveswith his mother and younger brother. His father has divorced with his mother. He has, among others, 1 previous conviction for possessionof a dangerous drug in 2008. He committed the present offence because he did not earn enough for his living expenses.
The sentencing guidelines
3. In Attorney General v Rojas  1 HKC 342, Silke VP equated the impact of cocaine with heroin. The sentencing guidelines in R v Lau Tak-ming  2 HKLR 370 would be directly applicable as follows:
The sentence I pass
4. The charge involved 18.35 grammes of grammes. It falls within the range of 5 to 8 years’ imprisonment according to Lau Tak-ming (supra). I do not regard any other sentencing options appropriate. The Defendant was a courier. I take a starting point of 5 yearsand 6 months. I give a one-third discount for the plea of guilty. There are no other mitigating factors. The sentence is 3 yearsand 8 months.