IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 636 OF 2002
(ON APPEAL FROM NKCC 3250 /2002)
Coram: Deputy High Court Judge Wong in Court
Date of Hearing: 31 October 2002
Date of Judgment: 31 October 2002
J U D G M E N T
1. The Appellant Lee Wing Hei pleaded guilty before a Magistrate to a charge of using a forged identity card and was sentenced to threemonths imprisonment. He now appeals against the sentence of three months on the ground that it is too severe.
2. The facts were succinctly summarized by his counsel before the Magistrate in his plea for mitigation. Mr Chow, who represented theAppellant below said this:
3. Mr McGowan who represents the Appellant before this court urges me to consider placing the Appellant on a community service order.He argues that the offence is not a serious one and certainly one that is different from cases involving illegal immigrants.
4. It has to be borne in mind that if a forged identity card is used by an illegal immigrant to obtain employments, the standard sentenceof 15 months would have to be imposed. The Magistrate in the course of hearing mitigation from Mr Chow was urged to consider communityservice order, but obviously he did not accept that it was appropriate in a case like this. In his observation, the Magistrate said:
5. I agree that the present offence must be punished with an immediate custodial sentence and community service is, in my view, notan option as the Magistrate very rightly pointed out.
6. For these reasons, the appeal against sentence is dismissed.
Mr P K Madigan, SGC of the Department of Justice, for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Mr James McGowan, instructed by Messrs Quan & Co., for the Appellant