Lam Wan-wah



H H Judge Tallentire


18 April 2011 at 10.23 pm


Miss Lisa Go, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Ng Ping-lin, Raymond, of Messrs Thomas Li & Yu, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant


(1) Theft (盜竊罪)
(2) Burglary (入屋犯法罪)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to one offence of theft, contrary to section 9, and one offence of burglary, contrary to section 11(1)(b)and (4) of each of the Theft Ordinance, Cap.210.

2. You admitted the brief facts and I convicted you. Briefly the facts are as follows:

3. Firstly, in respect of Charge 1, PW1 was one of the owners of Sing Cheong Engineering Construction Limited, which was constructinga ditch at the junction of To Kwa Wan Road and Mok Cheong Street.

4. On 19 January this year, at about 7.30 pm in the evening, PW1 went to inspect the construction ditch. He saw you pushing a trolleyand approaching it. You pulled open the plastic fence around the construction ditch and jumped in. You took an iron plate and aniron bar, which belonged to the construction company, and got out. PW1 intercepted you, he called the police, you were arrestedand then you were bailed.

5. Charge 2. On 26 January of this year at about 1526 hours, PC34508 (PW2) and another officers found you inside a vacant buildingat 58 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan. The building was owned by a real estate company.

6. Mr Ng concedes that this was a domestic premises. There were signs indicating its ownership. You were found at the 3rd floor standingon a cabinet taking down the air-conditioner.

7. Upon inquiry, you admitted intending to steal it. Arrested and cautioned, you admitted you had no money which was why you weretrying to take down the air-conditioner to sell.

8. You were wearing gloves. The police found a trolley belonging to you outside the building. On that trolley were two hammers, twopairs of pliers, one crowbar, one screwdriver, and a pair of gloves.

9. You admitted to 43 previous convictions, 21 of which were similar. On your behalf Mr Ng entered very little mitigation. Therewas indeed little to be said. He told me that you are 56 years old, divorced but cohabiting and have three children.

10. You are now remorseful and the goods involved are of very small value. The iron bar was worth about $40 and the air-conditioningunit $100 to $200.

11. The premises were domestic premises but vacant at the time. He confirmed that you committed these offences out of poverty.

12. He referred me to the fact that the last conviction was some 3 years ago in 2008, and he asked me to consider making part of thesentences concurrent.

13. I turn now to the sentence itself.

14. Burglary is always a serious matter. You have a particularly bad record involving crimes of dishonestly. Also I note that thesecond offence, that of burglary, was committed whilst you were on bail for the first offence.

15. In your favour, the goods were of little value and you appear to have been entirely cooperative with the police on arrest.

16. Taking all factors into account, on the first offence I take a starting point of 6 months’ imprisonment, reduced to 4 months.

17. On the second offence, whilst noting these were vacant domestic premises, your poor record works against you. I would thereforetake the standard tariff of 3 years down to 2 years.

18. These are separate and distinct offences, the second being committed whilst you were on bail for the first. Therefore, in my opinionit is right in principle they should be consecutive, and consecutive they are, making it 2 years and 4 months’ imprisonment.

District Judge