HKSAR v. KWOK CHUN LEUNG, KELVIN

DCCC 145/2009

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 145 OF 2009

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HKSAR
v
KWOK Chun-leung, Kelvin (Defendant)

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Before: Deputy District Judge Eddie Yip

Date: 21 April 2009 at 2:45pm

Present:

Mr. William Siu, Public Prosecutor for HKSAR
Mr. Paul Francis, of M/S Tang, Wong & Cheung, for defendant

Charge: Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)

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Reasons for Sentence

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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.

Mitigation

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 [1994] 1 HKC 342, Silke VP equated the impact of cocaine with heroin. The sentencing guidelines in R v Lau Tak-ming [1990] 2 HKLR 370 would be directly applicable as follows:

(1)Below 10 grammes of heroin, 2 to 5 years’ imprisonment;

(2)10 to 50 grammes, 5 to 8 years

(3)50 to 200 grammes, 8 to 12 years

(4)400 to 600 grammes, 15 to 20 years

(5)over 600 grammes, 20 years upwards.

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.

EDDIE YIP
DEPUTY DISTRICT JUDGE