HKSAR v. LO KA LONG AND OTHERS

DCCC971/2008

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 971 OF 2008

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HKSAR
v.
Lo Ka-long (D1)
Cheung Pak-ho (D2)

Foo Tsz-wing (D4)

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Before: Deputy District Judge W C Li

Date: 23 April 2009 at 12.47 pm

Present:

Mr Selwyn So, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Chik Chi-wai, Kenneth, instructed by Anthony Ho & Co., assigned by the Legal Aid Department, for the 1stDefendant
Mr Daniel Marash, SC, leading Ms Valerie Lim, instructed by S Y Chu & Co., for the 2nd Defendant
Mr Ma Wai-kwan, David, instructed by Messrs Henry Wan & Yeung, assigned by the Legal Aid Department, forthe 4th Defendant

Offence: Assault occasioning actual bodily harm, etc. (襲擊他人致造成身體傷害等罪項)

Reasons for Sentence

1. Sentencing young offenders for serious offences is not an easy task. D1, D2 and D4 were convicted after trial. Little or no remorsehad been shown prior to conviction. The case had been adjourned for rehabilitation centre and training centre reports, and all threedefendants had been remanded in custody in the meantime.

2. 1st and 2nd defendants each face three charges: Charge 1, assault occasioning actual bodily harm; Charge 4, blackmail; and Charge5 for theft. All three defendants have clear record. D1 and D2 are young men of 17 and 18. All three defendants face serious offencesthat involved a triad element behind these offences.

3. It is obvious all three defendants were rebellious and lack disciplinary training. D2 had asked this court to consider further reportswhich had been declined in view of the seriousness of these offences. D2’s parents suggested to send D2 to school in Shenzhen. I could not see the logic behind this. If you could not teach him well in Hong Kong, how could you teach him well away from HongKong? It is not a viable option at all. Furthermore, Shenzhen is out of Hong Kong’s jurisdiction.

4. One thing I hoped D2 could see was that his parents tried their very best for him. However, we all have to be aware that sometimesin order to be kind, one has to be cruel. Young people did not listen to their parents and teachers and had often ended up in courtwhere the court had no other option but to consider the most suitable institution for them to be rehabilitated, and young peoplein this situation would have to learn how to behave, how to conduct themselves the hard way. On one hand, I considered the seriousnessof the offences. On the other hand, I did consider that all young people should at least get one chance to turn over a new leaf.

5. D4 faces more serious offences: Charge 2 for robbery, Charge 4 for blackmail, Charge 5 for theft, and Charge 7 for claiming to bea member of a triad society. He was also the youngest of the three defendants, 15 at the time of the offences. He is now 16. Hehas a long way to go and he must learn how to behave himself and how to choose his friends in the future. Now he has the opportunityto see what life is like inside. He must learn and realise that his own future is in his own hands.

6. The recommendation for all three defendants is that rehabilitation centre is more suitable than training centre. However, both rehabilitationcentre and training centre are suitable. I am not going to repeat the contents in the reports, but I have considered carefully thecontents in these two reports. I agree with the recommendation that rehabilitation centre is the better option.

7. I therefore sentence D1 and D2 on Charges 1, 4 and 5 to rehabilitation centre, and D4 on Charges 2, 4, 5 and 7 to rehabilitationcentre as well for their rehabilitation.

W C Li
Deputy District Judge