HKSAR v. NORMAN M. MORRISON

HCMA001045/1997

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HONG KONG

(Appellate Jurisdiction)

MAGISTRACY CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1045 OF 1997

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BETWEEN
HKSAR Respondent
AND
NORMAN M. MORRISON Appellant

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Coram : The Hon. Madam Justice Beeson in Court

Date of Hearing : 10 February 1998

Date of Delivery of Judgment : 10 February 1998

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J U D G M E N T

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1. The Appellant originally pleaded guilty to 3 separate offences of Assaulting a Police Officer Acting in the Execution of his duty,contrary to section 63 of the Police Force Ordinance, Cap. 232 of the Laws of Hong Kong. The injuries suffered by the officers were not major injuries, but nevertheless this was an unpleasantincident where the police, while having to deal with a drunken man, were gratuitously assaulted.

2. All the matters that could have been raised on behalf of this Appellant were put before the magistrate and it was on that basis hegave his sentence of one month on the first charge and 2 months on each of the other charges, all sentences to be concurrent. Therecan be nothing wrong with these sentences. The learned magistrate was then addressed at length in an application for review of sentence,further matters were put before him and a very able argument was addressed to him by counsel at that time. The magistrate declinedto suspend his sentence which was the course suggested to him. He said he found no reason or grounds to do so. He, properly, tookthe view that the court should regard assaults on police officers as deserving of custodial sentences.

3. Before me today, there has been some additional evidence adduced in relation to the Appellant’s job and difficulties that will befaced by his employer in relation to various contracts relating to the airport if the Appellant is imprisoned. There was also thepersonal matter put forward that his wife is now pregnant. I have considered the matter carefully and I am loath to interfere withthe magistrate’s sentence and am certainly not disposed to making the sentence suspended. However taking into account all the additionalfactors as an act of mercy, I propose to vary the sentence to 14 days in respect of each of the 3 charges, all to be concurrent and to be served immediately.

Representation:

Mr. Johnny Chan, S.G.C., for D.P.P.

Mr. Andrew Macrae, instructed by M/s. Haldanes for Appellant – Morrison Norman Murdo

(C.M. Beeson)
Judge of the Court of First Instance