IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 145 OF 2009
COURT: I have to sentence you for trafficking in ketamine. You had 1,016 grammes of it. It will have been explained to you thatstarting points for sentence are taken off published guidelines which are based upon the weight of the drug involved. In your case,the starting point for 1,000 grammes is 14 years.
It will also have been explained that you earn a third discount for your plea and that would accordingly give a sentence of 9years and 4 months.
You must understand I have, in fact, little discretion in this. That is because the courts regard consistency in sentencing- and there are many drug cases in Hong Kong – as being very important. We cannot have men in prison, in cells next door to eachother, both of whom trafficked 1,000 grammes but who have significantly different sentences. It is unfair. So you must appreciatemy hands are tied to a large extent.
I have been moved by the nice mitigation I have heard from your counsel and the letters I received from your family and friends. I judge the material to be genuine and, as I have said, I give it as much weight as I can but because of the matters I have mentioned,the weight is limited. But I do bear in mind that, at 47, you had a previously clear record. I do not quarrel with the descriptionsof you that you are not an evil man, that you have done some good in your time, that you are kind-hearted and that you are trulygenuinely remorseful for this.
In the circumstances, the most I can do is round the 9 years and 4 months down to 9 years and I will do that for the reason ofthe mitigation and the letters.
I add this too, that you pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court. People who plead guilty at the court door with the jury waiting,under our system, get the same discount. So I think your frankness can justify, in part, with the other reasons, that rounding down.
The sentence is 9 years.