DCCC 344/2013





Mohammad Farooq

Before: HH Judge Woodcock

Date: 23 October 2013 at 10.53 am

Present: Miss Monica Chan, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Robert Craig Andrews, instructed by Bough & Co, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: Attempted burglary (企圖入屋犯法罪)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant has been convicted after trial of an attempted burglary offence.

2. I dealt with the facts in detail in my verdict. I do not intend to repeat them.

3. In short, the defendant at 1 am on 30 December thought he would try and see if PW1 was at home in her flat on the 12th floor. Iam sure he checked to see if she was at home by ringing her doorbell and I said I was sure that if he was convinced she was not athome he would try and gain entry to steal from within.

4. For her own reasons, PW1 when she heard the doorbell ring had her own suspicions and instead of responding or opening the door toher doorbell ringing she waited to see what the defendant would do.

5. He then, when he thought no one was at home, opened one of the two locks with a key and tried to open the second lock with otherkeys. When he was stopped by the police and searched he was found to be in possession of over 70 keys.

6. His actions were clearly an attempt to enter PW1’s home, uninvited and to steal from within.

7. The defendant is 43 years old. He came to Hong Kong from Pakistan in early 1990s. I see from his antecedent that he is marriedwith four children, two of which are students.

8. I have heard from the evidence that he does work at a recycling shop in Kwun Tong belonging to a relative and obviously in the pastworked as a relief caretaker.

9. The defendant is not a man of clear record. He has two previous theft convictions that resulted in short terms of imprisonment.I take into account they were in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

10. Defence counsel has said all he can in mitigation on the defendant’s behalf.

11. I have been informed the defendant’s wife is a housewife and she is not in great health. This is not something that will meanthat the court can be any more lenient. I am sure that this was something the defendant was well aware of before he committed thisoffence.

12. The normal starting point for a burglary offence where there are no mitigating or aggravating factors is 3 years’ imprisonment.

13. If an occupant was at home and likely to be confronted or frightened by a burglar, that would be an aggravating factor, but I accepthere that the defendant tried to make sure no one was at home before he tried to gain entry by ringing the doorbell, so I do notintend to increase the starting point.

14. The fact that it is an attempted burglary charge does not make it less serious where the starting point is concerned.

15. After considering your background, mitigation put forward, the facts of the case, I will take as a starting point a term of 3 years’imprisonment.

16. Defendant, you were convicted after trial. There is no reason for any discount from the starting point.

17. The sentence for this offence is 3 years’ imprisonment.

A. J. Woodcock
District Judge