HKSAR v. MA MAN CHUN

HCCC 342/2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CRIMINAL CASE NO 342 OF 2016

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HKSAR
v
MA Man-chun

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Before: Hon Campbell-Moffat J

Date: 20 September 2016 at 11.00 am

Present: Mr Bobby Cheung, SPP of Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Kenneth Wong, instructed by Chung & Kwan, assigned by DLA, for the accused

Offence: (1) & (2) Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)

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

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COURT:

Ma Man-chun, you pleaded guilty in the Eastern Magistrates Court on 22 July 2016 to two counts of trafficking in dangerous drugs,contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap 134, in that you accepted that you trafficked in a total of 669.9 grammes of ketamine.

The facts of your offending have been reduced to a Statement of Facts which has been read out in court and to which you have agreedthrough your counsel. You were found to be in possession of 481 grammes of ketamine within a paper bag you were carrying outsideSheung Tak Market, Tseung Kwan O, on 5 January 2016. At that time, you were completely frank with the police when you said thatit was ‘K Chai’, and that it was for you to make quick cash. In interview, you said you had just collected those drugs fromsomebody in a Mercedes.

The 188.9 grammes of ketamine referred to under Count 2, which was found at your flat in Sheung Yan House on the Sheung Tak Estateafter arrest, was part of drugs you said you had received on 1 January 2016, part of which you had already divided up and suppliedto others. The ketamine in your flat was contained within several resealable plastic bags as indicated in the Statement of Facts,and was obviously for onward supply to others.

Electronic scales were also found and you also had two mobile phones, one of which you said had been provided to you by the personwho was guiding your trafficking in drugs. By reason of your plea today, you admit that you were in possession of all of those drugsin order to traffic in them.

The street value of those drugs at the time was approximately $174,785, and yet you said you were to be paid just $2,000 in orderto traffic in those drugs and you had not yet received that money.

Mr Ma, you are only 21 years of age. You were a student at the time of your arrest and I notice that you now live with your motherand two stepsisters, although at some stage, obviously, with your stepfather as well.

I have listened to everything that Mr Wong has said on your behalf including your difficult family circumstances. There is no doubtthat you were motivated to behave as you did by reason of the conflict that you had with your stepfather, from whom your mother isnow estranged and I particularly note that despite being in trouble when you were young, you had picked yourself up and studied hardin college. Your academic results are excellent.

Your future could have been a bright one and you have thrown it all away. You have done that by assisting others to traffic in dangerousdrugs and that ruins other young people’s lives. Other mothers, sisters, uncles and aunts will be distraught by their childrenturning to drugs and you played your part in that.

These are very serious matters, and it has been said by the Court of Appeal on many occasions that there is, unfortunately, littlepersonal mitigation which can reduce the sentence which the court must pass. Whilst I wish it were otherwise, that is the case here. If I were to do anything other than to send you directly to prison, much as I believe you would benefit from an alternative disposal,I am sure that the Court of Appeal would think otherwise for there is more at stake here than simply the punishment which you mustreceive. Others must be deterred from following suit.

For trafficking in ketamine, the sentencing guidelines after trial are set out in Secretary for Justice v Hii Siew Cheng [2009] 1 HKLRD 1. For between 300 to 600 grammes, the starting point after trial is between 9 and 12 years. Therefore, for trafficking in 481 grammesof ketamine under Count 1, the starting point after trial is 10 years and 9 months. For between 50 to 300 grammes, the startingpoint is 6 to 9 years, and therefore, for trafficking in 188.9 grammes of ketamine under Count 2, the starting point after trialis 7 years and 9 months.

That would have made a total, after trial, of 18 years and 6 months. But as Mr Wong has pointed out, if this had been just one countbefore the court, then the total would be 669.9 grammes and the starting point after trial would have been 12 years and 3 months.

You have pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity and that is to your credit. I will give you one-third discount for those pleas.

On Count 1, you will go to prison for 7 years and 2 months. Under Count 2, you will go to prison for 5 years and 2 months, 4 yearsand 2 months of which will be concurrent with the sentence at Count 1. You will, therefore, go to prison for 8 years and 2 months.