HKSAR v. LI LIK FUNG

CACC000765/1998

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL

1998, No.765
(Criminal)

BETWEEN
HKSAR
AND
LI LIK-FUNG

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Coram: Power, V.-P. and Stuart-Moore, J.A.

Date of Hearing: 1 April 1998

Date of Judgment: 1 April 1998

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J U D G M E N T

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Stuart-Moore, J.A. (giving the judgment of the Court):

1. On 4th December 1997, the Applicant pleaded guilty in the District Court to a charge of attempted robbery. Judge Line ordered a trainingcentre report before making an order that the Applicant, then aged 20, should be detained in a training centre. The Applicant nowseeks leave to appeal against this order and has asked the court to consider making a prison sentence rather than sending him tothe training centre.

2. The Applicant came before the District Court as a drug addict who had previously been placed on probation for possession of dangerousdrugs. He was in breach of probation as a result of this case and he was ordered, for the breach to go to a drug addiction treatmentcentre.

3. This present offence involved an attempt by two young men to rob a 19-year old woman of her necklace in a lift on a housing estate.When the Applicant, D1 at trial, was arrested on the day after his offence he admitted his guilt. D2 was sentenced to two years’imprisonment for this offence.

4. The judge, in passing sentence on the Applicant, said:

“If you were over 21, I would pass the same sentence as D2, but the fact is that you are still 20. The law requires me to look atalternatives to imprisonment, and if an alternative is available, then I should adopt that unless there is a good reason not to.Training centre is suitable for you. You are not recommended for it by the Commissioner of Correctional Services because at the momentyou are in DATC, as is your co-accused. Their assessment of you being not suitable for training centre is based upon that addictionsolely. This is a problem that arises day in and day out in the District Court of young men who are drug addicted, who need to goto DATC but that is not sufficient punishment; they also need to go to training centre…………

… I am not going to leave you just in DATC because that would mean that you lost your liberty for a time that was far too shortin relation to the gravity of the crime you committed. It is a matter of regret that the DATC course is interrupted. The greaterdemand upon me of doing my public duty to protect people who take lifts in Hong Kong demands that I take you from there and sendyou to training centre.”

5. We need only say that we entirely agree with the sentiments expressed by the judge.

6. This application is dismissed.

(N.P. Power) (M. Stuart-Moore)
Vice-President Justice of Appeal

Representation:

Mr. Wesley W.C. Wong, S.A.D.P.P. (Ag.) for D.P.P./Respondent

Applicant in person.