IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1368 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to two offences of trafficking in dangerous drugs each contrary to sections 41A and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap. 134. You admitted the brief facts and I convicted you.
2. The facts were as follows. At 2.45 pm on 19 October last, police officers spotted you approaching a car outside the Pok Hong ShoppingCentre, Shatin. They intercepted and searched you. In your left-front pocket of your jeans there was a Marlborough cigarette packetcontaining three plastic bags of suspected dangerous drugs. Subsequent analysis showed this to be 29.67 grammes of powder containing24.70 grammes of ketamine. That is charge 1.
3. After arrest and caution you replied, “Ah sir, I just sell a little bit of K-chai to others to earn some money.” At 3.36 pmthe officers escorted you to room 2511, Pok Man House, Pok Hong Estate, Shatin. There they found transparent plastic box in the livingroom which contained the following; 1) 6 plastic bags containing suspected dangerous drugs. This was subsequently found to be 81.82grammes of powder containing 67.85 grammes of ketamine, charge 2; 2) electronic scales; 3) a metal and a plastic spoon; 4) 19 transparentresealable plastic bags.
4. At 4 pm you were cautioned again and you stated the dangerous drugs belonged to you and no one else knew about them. Interviewedunder caution on video at 7.49 pm you stated inter alia; 1) when you were intercepted you were going to a TV game centre in MongKok to sell the ketamine, the drugs in your jeans were ketamine; 2) you bought 4 plus ounces of ketamine from a male named Ah Kitfor $8,000 and you did not know his full name and had no means of contacting him; 3) you had shared the flat with your friends since17 October 2009 and your friend did not know that you concealed drugs in the flat.
5. You are a man of hitherto clear record. Mr Khosa, on your behalf, added full and helpful mitigation. In my opinion that mitigationis sufficient for me to deal with the case without calling for further reports as I do not believe further reports could add anythingto what has been said.
6. I am told that you are 26 years of age, single and educated to form 2, currently unemployed. You had been employed as a vehicleattendant, dairy farm, for a number of years prior to being laid off as a result of the recession at the end of 2008. A letter wasproduced to confirm this. Mr Khosa also told me, and again supported documentary evidence, that you were a regular donor of bloodand that tells me that you are person with a social conscience. I am also told that you are a good son who had regularly contributedto your parents and visited them or a regular basis. Both are elderly and in poor health.
7. I am told that the reason for the commission of these offences was financial. As a result of your unemployment you used the creditcard facility on your credit card which you could not then repay. You were drawn into selling drugs for easy money and to gain arespite from your financial problems. Mr Khosa referred me to two letters, one written by your mother and one by yourself. Your mother,as would be expected, spoke well of you. I also note your father’s attendance today in your support and I am told that unfortunatelyyour mother is not well enough to attend.
8. Mr Khosa emphasised your clear record, that you were a good son who had contributed to his parents; and that you had been a goodand regular worker and, of course, your plea of guilty at the first available opportunity. He asks me for leniency saying that inall the circumstances not to regard you as a hardened criminal. That I accept.
9. I turn now to the sentence. Whilst trafficking in dangerous drugs is a despicable crime against society, I do find there is somemitigation in these circumstances. I do note the mitigation, your clear record at 26; your family support; and your previous solidworking performance. I note also that you were cooperative with the police upon arrest and that it goes to your credit to ensurethat your flat mate was not drawn into these offences.
10. The amount of drugs is substantial, 92.55 grammes of ketamine. This makes the charge serious. The tariff from the established guidelineswould therefore be between 6 to 7 years, towards 7 years, however, in all the circumstances as I indicated to Mr Khosa I am preparedto go to the lowest end of the scale therefore you will be sentenced in this way.
11. On Charge 1, I take a starting point of 4½ years, reduced to 3 years for your plea of guilty. On Charge 2, I take a starting pointof 6 years’ imprisonment reduced to 4 years for your plea of guilty. The two sentences will be run concurrently, that is, a totalof 4 years’ imprisonment.