HKSAR v. LEUNG WAN HING, SAM

DCCC 999/2013

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 999 OF 2013

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HKSAR
v.
LEUNG Wan-hing, Sam

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Before: H H Judge Sham

Date: 8 January 2014

Present: Mr Paul STEPHENSON, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr CHAN Chung instructed by M/s. Kent Tam & Co., assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Defendant

Offence: [1] Possession of a dangerous drug (管有危險藥物)
[2] Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)
[3] Possession of Part I Poison (管有第一部毒藥)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. The defendant pleaded guilty to 2 offences, namely, possession of 0.33 g of methamphetamine hydrochloride (Ice) (charge 1) and possessionof part I poison-84 tablets of benzhexol (charge 3), but was convicted after trial of one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs-4.55gof ‘Ice’ (charge 2).

2. On the night of 13th August 2013, the police officers stopped the defendant in the street near where he lived, found a packet of drugs (0.33g of ‘ice’)on him, brought him back to his residence for a search. Further drugs (4.55g of ‘ice’ and 84 tablets of benzhexol) were foundtogether with an electronic scale, some 200 re-sealable plastic bags and a section of straw.

3. The defendant, aged 40, has amassed 24 convictions since 1991, 7 of them are drug-related. This is his first conviction of traffickingoffence. In mitigation, there isn’t much mitigation put forward by defence counsel apart from taking me through briefly the defendant’sbackground and circumstances.

4. For the offence of trafficking in ‘ice’, there are sentencing guidelines for this type of drugs, i.e. for trafficking up to 10g;the term for consideration is 3 to 7 years (See Ching Kwok Hung CAAR 15/1990).

5. For the offence of possession of dangerous drugs, the appellate court said in Mok Cho Tik CACC 165/2000,

“….We remain of the view that the starting point for mere possession of a quantity of dangerous drugs which a bona fide user wouldnormally have in his possession should be in the range of 12 to 18 months, (and that is the range that has been adopted particularlyfor cases in the District and High Court). But that is not the be all and end all of the appropriate starting point. It assumes casesin which a sentence of imprisonment rather than a rehabilitative measure is deemed necessary; and it does not seek to exclude magistratesfrom imposing lesser terms for very small quantities where the circumstances so warrant…………..”

6. As far as Part I Poison is concerned, there are no sentencing guidelines; for this type of offence, the maximum sentence is one of2 years of imprisonment.

7. Having heard the mitigation, I see no reason to depart from the usual guidelines set down for ‘ice’, for the amount that he wasfound trafficking, I take 4½ years as starting point, as the defendant was convicted after trial, there will be no discount. Forcharge 2, he is sentenced to 4½ years imprisonment.

8. As for the other two offences, I take 9 months for charge 1 (simple possession), 3 months for charge 3 (Part I poison), as startingpoint and reduce the terms by 1/3 to reflect his pleas of guilty, and I see nothing for further reduction. Therefore, the defendantis sentenced to 6 months for charge 1 and 2 months for charge 3. I order that all the terms be concurrent with one another, the totalterm is one of 4½ years imprisonment.

( Sham )
District Judge