HKSAR v. LIN CHI HIM

HCCC 207/2014

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CRIMINAL CASE NO 207 OF 2014

—————–

HKSAR
v
LIN Chi-him
(also known as LIN Ngo-tin)
——————

Before: DHCJ Tallentire

Date: 6 March 2015 at 2.38 pm

Present: Mr Andrew Raffell, on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Yeung Shak-nung, instructed by N K Tsang & Co, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the accused

Offence: Trafficking in dangerous drugs (販運危險藥物)

———————————

Transcript of the Audio Recording
of the Sentence in the above Case

———————————

COURT: Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to a single offence of trafficking in dangerous drugs. That involved 190 grammes of ketamineand 35.86 grammes of cocaine.

The facts are as follows. At 6.28 pm on 6 December 2013, police saw you come out of Flat 2624, Block 5, Prosperous Garden, Yau MaTei carrying a McDonald’s bag. That bag was searched and the police found a resealable plastic bag containing suspected dangerousdrugs, and another McDonald’s bag containing a further resealable plastic bag which contained three further resealable plasticbags of suspected dangerous drugs.

Arrested and cautioned, you said, “My big brother asked me to bring some stuff away from the flat. I didn’t know what it was.”

In a subsequent interview under caution you maintained this version saying your big brother was Ah Chung and that at his request youhad retrieved the McDonald’s bag from under the bed of Lee Ka-yiu.

Whilst this is of little or of no significance as far as your case is concerned, Lee had earlier been arrested at a different locationand subsequently he pleaded guilty to trafficking in dangerous drugs. You now admit knowledge yourself of the dangerous drugs.

Subsequent analysis of the dangerous drugs showed it to be 239 grammes of powder containing 190 grammes of ketamine, the retail streetvalue of about $27,600, and 70 grammes of solid containing 35.86 grammes of cocaine with a retail street value of $100,279.

You are a young man of hitherto clear record. Mr Yeung indicated that you agreed with both your antecedent statement and the backgroundreport which supports the contents of the antecedent statement.

In brief, you are but 18 years of age, educated to Form 2 and single. You reside with your mother and have had no contact your father.You have worked in a convenience store and as a hairdresser. These facts are confirmed within the background report and the situationamplified as to your earlier life.

On your behalf Mr Yeung entered further mitigation. He pointed to your broken family. You are the only child and you wanted to helpyour mother. However, you had a very poor academic performance. I am told that your ambition is to become a chef and, to some extent,this was your connection with this Ah Chung. It seems he was to teach you cooking skills. Your involvement with drugs was not formonetary reward but to perpetuate this relationship.

I am told you are very remorseful for what you have done, and this is demonstrated to an extent by the fact you pleaded guilty justprior to Chinese New Year, and therefore spent the New Year behind bars.

The approach to sentencing that I take is one of a combined approach. What I am trying to do is to marry the two types of drugs togetherto get a sentence to reflect the seriousness of the situation but yet is fair to you. Because, make no mistake, the courts of HongKong regard trafficking in dangerous drugs as extremely serious indeed.

I do take into account your youth. I take into account your background, but of course the main point in mitigation remains your pleaof guilty even though it was not at the first available opportunity.

I note the relative sentences that 190 grammes of ketamine falls within the 6 to 9 year range, and 35.86 grammes of cocaine withinthe 5 to 8 year range. As I have said, I have tried to do a fair computation of the sentence, 190 grammes of ketamine would attracta sentence in the range of seven-and-a-half years. Approximately 36 grammes of cocaine would give a sentence which equates to approximately180 grammes of ketamine on a conversion. So if one took a notional figure that would be approximately 370 grammes of ketamine.

I therefore take a starting point of nine-and-a-half years. This will be reduced by one-third for your plea of guilty, so you willgo to prison for 6 years and 4 months.

So your sentence is one of 6 years and 4 months.