IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1047 OF 2012
Reasons for Sentence
Charge and facts
1. The defendant pleads guilty to the burglary of Umah International Primary School (“The School”), which was situated in YuenLong, N.T. The school was surrounded by fences 8 feet high. Noises from the ground floor storeroom of the School drew the staff’sattention to the defendant there. A staffer spotted the defendant acting suspiciously. He intercepted the defendant and found awelding machine, 2 sets of electric wire and 2 electric socket outlets in his bag. The police and the person-in-charge of the Schoolwere informed. The latter identified the items, worth about $1,500, as missing from the storeroom.
2. After arrest and caution, the defendant admitted climbing over the fences to steal those items.
Personal background and mitigation
3. He is now aged 43. His wife is a Mainlander. He received education up to primary level. He had 16 records for dishonesty, handlingstolen goods and going equipped for stealing. He committed the present offence whilst on court bail for a theft which took placein late August 2012 (TM/2911/12). He has been a drug addict since 1984. The habit has never left him. In mitigation, his solicitorrelates to me that he seeks voluntary drug addiction treatment and probation.
4. In R v Wong Man  1 HKC 80, the Court of Appeal suggested 2 ½ years as the starting point for burglary of non-domestic premises by a first offender of fullage.
Sentencing this defendant
5. I find prison term the only realistic option, given his repeat dishonesty records and re-offending whilst on court bail. More deterrenceis called for. I take 3 years and 3 months as the starting point. He can have one-third off for his plea of guilty. With no othermitigating factors, he is sentenced to 2 years and 2 months.