IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1161 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
1. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to an offence of trafficking in a dangerous drug, contrary to Section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
2. You have admitted that on 10 September 2009, at the Customs Arrival Hall, Lok Ma Chau Control Point, you unlawfully trafficked in85.47 grammes of a powder, containing 39.78 grammes of ketamine.
3. On 10 September 2009, at about 3.13 am, you went through the “Nothing to Declare” channel at the Customs Arrival Hall of theLok Ma Chau Control Point.
4. Customs officers conducted a search on you and found two transparent resealable plastic bags with traces of drugs inside your wallet,four transparent resealable plastic bags containing drugs found in the sock on your left foot and six transparent resealable plasticbags containing drugs in the sock of your right foot.
5. You were arrested and under caution, you said that the drugs inside your wallet was ketamine which was left behind after your consumptionand that the drugs found in your socks were given to you by your friend, “Ah Keung”, who asked you to bring them to Hong Kongfor selling.
6. You are 16 years of age and of clear record. Your solicitor, Mr Yeung, has made full mitigation on your behalf and I have alsotaken into account the mitigation letters written by yourself and family.
7. Prior to sentencing you, I called for a Training Centre report.
8. I informed you that trafficking is of course, a very serious offence and warrants an immediate custodial sentence. Young age orill-health or advanced years is no exception to that sentence. The quantity of drugs to which you had for unlawful trafficking was39.78 grammes, this is not an insubstantial amount.
9. Following the guidelines set down in Hii Siew Cheng, it falls within the third bracket of 10 to 50 grammes, a sentence of 4 to 6 years’ imprisonment after trial.
10. For the quantity of drugs you had in your possession, it would not be incorrect to impose a starting point of approximately 5½years’ imprisonment after trial. I, of course, must bear in mind that you have pleaded guilty and that sentence would be reducedto 3 years 8 months. I bear in mind however, that young offenders should not be sentenced to prison unless the court is of opinionthat no other method of dealing with such person is appropriate (Section 109A of the Criminal Procedures Ordinance).
11. Your solicitor, Mr Yeung, has urged me to sentence you to Training Centre. Apart from a Superintendent’s Discretion which youreceived in March 2008, this is of course, your first offence, and a very serious one indeed.
12. It appears to me that you started to go wayward in your late primary years and again, more so, in your secondary school years. You have been acquainting with undesirable peers, sought fun with them until late night. You dropped out of school in Form Four,November 2008. Although you started work, soon after, you failed to maintain a steady work pattern. You then started taking drugsin February 2009. From an introduction of a ringleader, you eventually then trafficked in drugs.
13. You appear to understand that you have been led astray by the adverse influence of your peers. The report says that you are sorryfor your foolish act which has disappointed your whole family. You have decided to turn over a new leaf and during your currentremand, the officer in Pik Uk Correctional Institution says you have been polite and co-operative in attitude.
14. Your parents have, of course, been working hard to support yourself and your siblings and as a result, they have not had much timeto supervise you. You also seldom disclose your social life to your parents. Nevertheless, they are caring and are concerned aboutyour rehabilitation.
15. I bear in mind, of course, that this is a very serious offence but I also balance that with the fact that you are of a young age,only 16, and of a clear record. I consider a rehabilitative sentence is more appropriate for you then one of an immediate periodof imprisonment.
16. Therefore, in order to strengthen your law-abiding concept and in the interests of your rehabilitation, a period of disciplinarytraining coupled with statutory supervision I consider is beneficial to you.
17. You are mentally and physically fit for detention in a Training Centre and I therefore sentence you for detention in the TrainingCentre.