IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 717 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. You have admitted that on 13 April 2009 outside St Andrew’s Church in Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, you unlawfully trafficked in7.58 grammes of a crystalline solid containing 6.99 grammes of methamphetamine hydrochloride and 50 tablets containing a total of0.44 gramme of methamphetamine. These drugs are commonly known as Ice.
2. On 13 April at about midnight police officers set up a roadblock on Nathan Road. Just prior to a taxi reaching the roadblock, apolice officer saw you alight from the taxi, looking around and acting furtively. You were then approached and stopped by a policeofficer. You said that you had just been to some bars nearby and were on your way home.
3. A search was conducted upon you and inside your right front trousers pocket, the drugs were found in one resealable plastic bag containingfive resealable plastic bags of Ice and another resealable plastic bag containing 50 tablets of Ice.
4. You were arrested and cautioned. Under caution you claimed that you bought the drugs in Mong Kok for $1,700 and they were for yourown consumption.
5. The drugs were examined by the government chemist and certified that there were 6.99 grammes of methamphetamine hydrochloride and0.44 gramme of methamphetamine. In total, therefore, you had 7.43 grammes of narcotic.
6. You are 29 years of age and you have eight previous convictions of which seven are related to drugs. Within those seven, on oneoccasion you were convicted of two charges of trafficking in dangerous drugs. For that last conviction, in January 2003, you weresentenced to 5 years and 4 months’ imprisonment. I am informed that the drugs on that occasion were also the same as this timeIce.
7. Mr Tang, your solicitor, has mitigated on your behalf. Your mother and your own letters have been submitted to the court. Mr Tanghas said that you have at all material times been a drug addict as can be seen from your record, and this trafficking was of coursecaused by your addiction. You had one packet, he says, for your own consumption. The prosecutor, Ms Fu, says that they have noreason not to accept that. And that would equate to approximately 1.39 grammes for your own consumption. That would make the amountthat was actually for trafficking about 6 grammes of Ice.
8. I informed your solicitor, Mr Tang, and I myself am aware of the case of Wong Suet Hau, Ice, CACC366/2000, concerning a trafficker’s mitigation that some drugs were for his own consumption and how the court should takethese factors into account. In most of these cases the difference in sentence, if any, will be very slight because even for thepossession charge as there is the aggravating factor of the latent risk factor of trafficking.
9. It is good to see that you have family support. Your mother is here and she has written a letter asking for leniency. Sadly, youare only 29 years of age and you have spent most of your twenties in custody. Even now with this sentence, as I am sure you know,you will be spending the next few years at least again in custody.
10. I accept of course your genuine remorse because you have pleaded guilty. I will of course give you the full credit of one-third. But let me just say this to you, you are still young in age. To me, you look quite fit. It is never too late to try and change. In sentencing you, defendant, I take a starting point of 5 years’ imprisonment and give you the full one-third discount, and thatsentence will be reduced to 3 years and 4 months’ imprisonment.