IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1209 OF 2010
REASONS FOR SENTENCE
1. The defendant pleads guilty to one charge of possession of 16.54 grammes of a powder containing 9.98 grammes of ketamine, contraryto section 8 of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Chapter 134.
2. In summary at about 3.48 p.m. on the 4th September this year the police arrested three males, including the defendant, at the corridorof the 17/F of Kwong Chi House, Kwong Fuk Estate in Tai Po. The defendant was searched and seven resealable plastic bags containingthe ketamine were found in a cigarette box inside the defendant’s right front trouser pocket.
3. In passing sentence I have carefully considered everything said on behalf of the defendant by Mr Li together with the letters submittedtoday from the defendant, his brother-in-law, who is a registered social worker and from the Cheer Lutheran Centre.
4. The DATC report details the defendant’s drug history. The defendant first took ketamine in 2003 and would abuse the drug twiceper week prior to his arrest. I am told the ketamine found on the defendant would have lasted him for two weeks. The defendant hastwo prior convictions for possession of drugs, both in 2005 when he received sentences of 14 days and a fine. Notwithstanding thedefendant has apparently been taking drugs for 7 years he is found not to be a drug dependant.
5. I am satisfied this is not a case in which a rehabilitative measure is appropriate. As set out in the letters with the assistanceof his brother-in-law the defendant has received counselling and attended a 3 month treatment programme provide by the ChristianHong Kong New Life Association. However the defendant failed to complete the programme and continued to abuse drugs leading to hispresent offence.
6. The quantity possessed by the defendant, 9.98 grammes, is not a small quantity and carries with it a clear latent risk factor that the defendant might have been tempted to dispose of some of the drugs to others, in particular considering the number of packetsand that the defendant says the drugs were to last for two weeks.
7. I have considered the table of ketamine cases submitted by Mr Li and read those cases which are in English. Applying the principlesin HKSAR v MOK Cho-tik  1 HKC 261 I take as my starting point 12 months imprisonment, which I increase by 3 months to 15 months imprisonment, to reflect the latentrisk.
8. Giving the defendant full credit for his plea of guilty he is sentenced to 10 months imprisonment.