DCCC 485/2013





Lai Hon-man

Before: HH Judge Tallentire

Date: 30 July 2013 at 10.06 am

Present: Mr Shaun Kelly, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Ms Chao Tsz-kwan, Jolie, instructed by Chin & Associates, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: (1) & (2) Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to two offences of trafficking in dangerous drugs, contrary to sections 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap 134.

2. You admitted the brief facts and I convicted you.

3. What happened is as follows.

Charge 1

4. You were stopped and searched by police at Cheung Kwai Road, Cheung Chau, at about 11.50 am on 12 March of this year. Sixteen packetscontaining 6.36 grammes of a powder containing 5.02 grammes of ketamine were found in your right shorts pocket. You were arrestedand cautioned.

Charge 2

5. You were brought to your residence at Room 401, Cheung Fu House, Cheung Kwai Estate, Cheung Chau, for a house search. You yourselfshowed the police what you kept in a drawer in your room. There was a plastic bag containing: (1) a packet of 49.05 grammes of apowder containing 35.47 grammes of ketamine; (2) a plastic bag containing 101 empty transparent plastic bags; (3) a plastic bag containing87 plastic bags; and (4) a white spoon with traces of ketamine on it. An electronic scale was found on a bunk bed. These itemswere for packaging ketamine for sale.

6. Arrested and cautioned, you admitted possession of dangerous drugs.

7. In a video-recorded interview under caution you further admitted possession of the ketamine.

8. The total street value of the ketamine was $6,649.20. You had this in your possession for the purpose of trafficking.

9. You are a young man of clear record.

10. On your behalf, Miss Chao entered mitigation. She told me that you are single, 27 and educated to Form 5. Your father died in 2007and prior to arrest you resided with your mother and younger sister. You have had various jobs in the past such as sales, constructionand decoration, but now due to a wrist injury you can only work part-time. You earn on average $450 a day and work some 10 to 15days a month, giving half of your income to your family. Your younger sister is present in court to support you. Unfortunately,your elder sister is in hospital, she is there for observation and treatment due to a condition which affects the muscles.

11. Miss Chao then read out two letters, one was from yourself where you expressed your remorse and your intention to work hard, supportyour family and keep out of trouble on release. Your younger sister wrote a letter in support of you. She explained more fullythe situation regarding your elder sister and how you had supported the family after the death of your father. On your behalf sheasked for a chance.

12. Miss Chao then went on to ask for leniency on your behalf pointing to your clear record, your co-operation with the police, theextent of indicating the second cache of drugs and your plea of guilty. She told me that you are very regretful for what you havedone and you committed this offence out of momentary greed and a misplaced intention to support your family.

13. She accepted that the starting point of some 4 to 6 years was a normal starting point for this amount of ketamine. However, inview of what was said, she asked me to take the lowest starting point that is one of 4 years.

14. I turn now to the sentence.

15. You are a young man of clear record. Clearly, you are a young man who has tried your best to support your family in the past. I accept that you are entirely co-operative on arrest taking the police to the second cache of dangerous drugs and that you havepleaded guilty to the two offences. I intend to amalgamate the two amounts of dangerous drugs though there are two offences. Thisgives a total amount of ketamine of just over 40 grammes. The normal starting point, according to my calculations, would thereforebe about 5½ years.

16. There is some mitigation which I have indicated in your clear record, your co-operation with the police and your plea of guiltyto the charge. Also, I acknowledge that you do seem to have the support of your family and that you have tried to support your familyin the past. Therefore, there will be a small reduction of the starting point.

17. In respect of Charge 1, I take a starting point of 3 years, reduced to 2 years for your plea of guilty. In respect of Charge 2,a starting point of 5 years, reduced to 40 months for your plea of guilty. These will be concurrent, that is a total of 40 months. Accordingly, you will go to prison for 40 months.

District Judge