IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 163 OF 2011
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, I convicted you after trial of trafficking in 7.9 grammes of heroin hydrochloride. I was satisfied beyond reasonabledoubt that on 23 December of 2010, you were arrested by police officers near Sau Wah House, Sau Mau Ping Estate, and in your possessionwas the drugs, the subject of the charge, and you intended to traffic in those drugs. You told the arresting officer that you hadbeen given the drugs by an unknown person and instructed to deliver them to somebody else for a reward of $300.
2. You have appeared before the court on a number of previous occasions. There are 13 previous court appearances involving some 24offences, and you have been to prison on a number of occasions in the past. 11 of your convictions relate to drugs matters, and fortrafficking in dangerous drugs, you have been sent to prison in 1989 for 3 years and in 1996 for 2 years and 6 months. I note, however,that with regard to that record, your last court appearance was in 2002 and you had managed to stay out of trouble until this incident.
3. You are 64 years of age, and according to your counsel, you are a drug addict and have been for many years. You are now a divorcedman, your wife having separated from you some three to four years ago, and you have since that time been responsible for lookingafter your 18-year-old daughter who has just finished Form 5 education.
4. I am told that some 10 years ago, you were in regular employment, working as a factory worker and working in a bar but, unfortunately,you broke a leg and were unable to work thereafter. Since that time, you have been in receipt of comprehensive social security allowanceand currently you are receiving some $4,000 per month. Your daughter has done well at school and she has in fact attended courttoday.
5. As your counsel has rightly acknowledged, for trafficking in this quantity of drugs, the Court of Appeal has said that a sentenceof 2 to 5 years should be considered for trafficking in up to 10 grammes of heroin.
6. This is your third conviction for trafficking, so the court would naturally consider imposing a greater sentence than the usualstarting point given your record. However, I note, as I have said, that your last court appearance was in 2002 and you have takenyour responsibilities in regard to looking after your daughter seriously and she has done well. I have decided therefore not toincrease the usual starting point. Having considered the quantity of drugs at 7.9 grammes of heroin in this case, I propose to imposea sentence of 3 years and 6 months.