IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 537 OF 2009
Before: H H Judge Tallentire
Date: 20 October 2009 at 10.24 am
Offence: Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to a single offence of trafficking in dangerous drugs, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap.134.
2. You admitted the brief facts and I convicted you.
3. Those facts were as follows.
4. At approximately 3.50 pm on 18 March last you attended Kowloon City Police Station. After inquiries, DPC58145 (PW1), DSIP (PW2),and other officers searched your residence at Flat 20, 2nd Floor, Wing Fat House, No. 140 Hong Kin Road, Sai Kung.
5. At 4.10 pm approximately, PW1 found a black plastic bag containing four plastic bags containing suspected ketamine inside a wardrobedrawer in your bedroom. Under caution, you claimed to PW2 that it was for your own consumption.
6. Later analysis showed this to be 54.79 grammes of powder containing 43.27 grammes of ketamine.
7. You gave a statement under caution. You said you had been consuming ketamine since you were 16 years of age, spending $100 a day. You had purchased the drugs found from a man called Ah Lung in Mongkok on the afternoon of 15 March for $3,200. You said they werefor your own consumption.
8. You admitted to one previous conviction, which also related to drugs. That conviction resulted in a fine.
9. I adjourned the case for a Probation Officer’s Background Report, a Training Centre Report and a DATC Report.
10. The result of the reports was that you were considered to be drug-dependent and therefore suitable for DATC. However, based on yourdrug addiction, you were found not to be suitable for Training Centre.
11. Mr Davies informed me that you accepted the reports, subject to one correction in the DATC Report, and that is that the drugs werefor your own consumption whereas in fact you accepted they were to be shared with your friends, or some of them were to be sharedwith your friends.
12. On your behalf, Mr Davies entered mitigation. The thrust of that mitigation so far as I understand it was to urge me, not withouta sound basis, to consider making a DATC Order given your youth, your need for rehabilitation, the family support you enjoy, andyour relatively light record.
13. You are 20 years of age, you are supported by your mother, and your record shows but one single conviction, though that is drug related.
14. I turn now to the sentence.
15. The main factor against Mr Davies’ submission was the amount of ketamine involved, over 43 grammes. In my opinion, such an amounttakes that sentence beyond the scope of DATC. I do accept that you are an addict, I do accept it was your intention to share thedrugs with your friends, and I do accept that an indeterminate amount would have been for your own consumption. However, whilstyou are under 21 years of age, you are 20 and an adult. Whilst your record is light, you have been in trouble before for drugs.
16. Mr Davies fairly and correctly concedes that the Probation Officer’s Report and the DATC Suitability Report and the Training CentreReport are not of the best, though they are not of the worst.
17. Therefore, I resolved that in this case only a prison sentence is appropriate. In computing that sentence, I have taken into accountthe contents of all the reports, your relative youth, your light record, the level of family support that is afforded to you, andthat fact, which I repeat, that some of these drugs were for your own consumption, the rest would have been shared with your friends.
18. Nonetheless, this is a very serious offence. It is one for which for an adult of full years the starting point would have been some5 to 5½ years’ imprisonment.
19. However, taking into account all the factors I have mentioned, what I am going to do is I am going to take the very bottom of therange.
20. I therefore take as a starting point 4 years’ imprisonment reduced to 2 years and 8 months. That is the one-third discount foryour plea of guilty.