HKSAR v. PANG CHI YIP

DCCC 434/2013

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO 434 OF 2013

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HKSAR
v
Pang Chi-yip
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Before: HH Judge Woodcock

Date: 22 July 2013 at 10.12 am

Present: Mr Leung Chun Keung, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Wu Kin Ng, Paul, instructed by Leung Kin & Co, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

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

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. The defendant has pleaded guilty to one charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap. 134.

2. Particulars are that on 8 March 2013 outside Po Tin Shopping Centre in Tuen Mun, the defendant unlawfully trafficked in a dangerousdrugs, namely 6.44 grammes of a crystalline solid containing 6.33 grammes of Ice.

3. The facts are very straightforward. Police officers on patrol spotted the defendant at about 1 am. They thought he looked suspiciousand approached the defendant. When one officer revealed his police identity, the defendant took off. However, he was stopped aftera short chase. He was seen dropping a transparent resealable plastic bag containing the Ice. When he was searched at the scene,five empty transparent resealable plastic bags, some keys, two mobile phones and cash of nearly $10,000 was found on his person. Under caution, the defendant admitted the Ice was for his own consumption.

4. Not long after his arrest, the defendant’s home was searched. The only significant items found were an electronic weighing scaleand a plastic box containing 200 transparent resealable plastic bags of different sizes.

5. In subsequent video-recorded interview, the defendant elaborated on his admission. The defendant today says that the weighing scalethe police found was not in working order but nonetheless he pleaded guilty to trafficking dangerous drugs. Those items are paraphernaliathat are usually associated with packaging drugs for the purpose of sale.

6. The defendant is not a man of clear record, he has many previous convictions. He has many for possession of dangerous drugs andtwo previous similar offences of trafficking in a dangerous drug in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Despite these previous convictions,he still continues to traffic dangerous drugs for financial purposes. He was not deterred by his terms of imprisonment. However,the defendant has served his punishment for those two offences and I will not consider those previous convictions as an aggravatingfactor. The same cannot be said for the defendant if he continues to commit this offence.

7. I have considered the relevant mitigation put forward including the defendant’s age, 48 years old, he is divorced with an adultson and he works as a construction site worker for $10,000 a month. Prior to his arrest, he was supporting a cohabitee and his parentsfinancially. It has been pointed out the defendant has many previous convictions for possession of dangerous drugs and has beena drug addict for some time. His first conviction for possession of dangerous drugs was as far back as 1991. He does not seek toapportion part of the Ice in this case as his own for his own consumption but it has been pointed out that he could afford drugsfor his own consumption although that will depend on the extent of his addiction. I do not have further details on this aspect,however, I will take into account that he is a drug addict and perhaps some of the Ice may have been taken by the defendant for hisown consumption.

8. Where trafficking Ice is concerned, the court will follow the guidelines as set out in the authority of AG v Ching Kwok Hung [1991] 2 HKLR 125. The relevant guideline that is applicable here is where between nought to 10 grammes of Ice is trafficked, that would attract aterm of imprisonment of between 3 to 7 years. Mathematically speaking, this quantity of Ice in this case will attract a startingpoint of approximately 5½ years.

9. Defendant, please stand up. I will take into account and consider mitigation put forward, his plea and the relevant factors I havereferred to already above, but accordingly I take a starting point of 4 years and 9 months.

10. The defendant is entitled to a discount of one-third for his plea of guilty today. The defendant is therefore sentenced to 3 yearsand 2 months’ imprisonment.

A. J. Woodcock
District Judge