COURT: Liang Yen-chao, I am not going to read a sermon on the evils of the dangerous drugs trade. They will be well-known to you asyou have been involved in them.
It is always sad when a young man who, like you, comes from what obviously is a good family falls into bad ways.
I note that you have a criminal record, including a previous conviction for trafficking in dangerous drugs. I have given that dueconsideration and I do not propose to increase your sentence just because you have that criminal record.
As your counsel, Mr Ma, fully appreciates, there is nothing in your personal circumstances which is of any mitigating value whatsoever.
Your only mitigation – and it is a very powerful mitigation – is that you have had the realism to plead guilty and to plead guiltyat an early stage in the criminal proceedings against you, and you will receive due recognition for that plea of guilty.
Mr Ma will have told you that there are guidelines set down by the Court of Appeal for all judges as to how we should sentence peoplewho traffic in dangerous drugs. He will have told you that we are expected to stick to those guidelines unless there are good reasonsnot to do so, and there are no such good reasons in your case.
I can tell you that had you taken this matter to trial, had pleaded not guilty, had a jury found you guilty then, following thoseguidelines, I would have been thinking of sentencing you, for both offences, to a period of imprisonment of in the region of 7 years.Because of your pleas of guilty, I am permitted to reduce those sentences quite considerably.
Therefore, for the first charge, where you trafficked in 1.96 grammes of a substance which had 1.93 grammes of “Ice” in it, your sentenceis one of 1 year and 4 months’ imprisonment. You would have been looking at a sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment had you beenconvicted by a jury of that offence.
For the second and more serious count, where a larger quantity of “Ice” is involved, 12.68 grammes of a solid containing 12.35 grammesof “Ice”, you would have been looking at a sentence of at least 7 years’ imprisonment had a jury found you guilty. I am reducingthat by one-third to reflect your plea of guilty and your sentence on the 2nd count is one of 4 years and 8 months’ imprisonment.
I regard the two offences as representing one course of criminal conduct and I am making a direction that you are to serve your sentencesconcurrently, which means at the same time.
Therefore, for both offences, you will be imprisoned for a total period of 4 years and 8 months.
I am told that you are already serving a sentence for a completely different offence of trafficking which you will cease to servesome time later this year. I am making an order that the sentences I have passed on you are to be served consecutively; that meansafter you have finished serving the sentence you are currently in prison for.