COURT: The defendant pleads guilty to one charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap 134.
He was observed to be sitting at the driver’s seat of a parked private car. He was intercepted when he alighted from that vehicleand was seen to be holding a brown paper bag which, upon search, contained four resealable plastic bags of drugs.
Under caution, he admitted that he was delivering the “K chai” to others for a reward of $1,000. The estimated street value ofthe drugs was around HK$110,000. Upon analysis the powder was found to weigh 0.97 kilogrammes containing 0.72 kilogrammes of ketamine.
The defendant is now aged 28. He has a clear record. I am told that he was married but now divorced with a young son aged three.
By way of mitigation I was told that it was only when the defendant was studying in Canada back in 1991 that he was diagnosed withattention deficit hyperactive disorder and it was through the intake of medication that he managed to complete his studies. Afterwardshe became a cook, specialising in Japanese cuisine. Before his arrest, he worked in the Yuen Long Town Hall.
His counsel urged me to take a lenient view given his unblemished character and that it was his naivety and stupidity which led himto his present predicament.
In sentencing the defendant I have taken into account the nature of the offence, the drugs involved, its quantity, and the sentencingtariff. I have also read letters written by himself, by his mother and by the management in the Yuen Long Town Hall. I have alsotaken into account his guilty plea and his co-operation with the police indicating his remorse. I have also considered all that couldbe said on his behalf by his counsel.
According to the guideline laid down in the case of Hii Siew Cheng, trafficking in 600 to 1,000 grammes of ketamine attracts a starting point between 12 to 14 years’ imprisonment. The present caseinvolves 0.72 kilogrammes of ketamine. I adopt a starting point of 12½ years’ imprisonment.
Taking into consideration his guilty plea he is entitled to one-third discount. He is sentenced to 8 years and 4 months’ imprisonment.