IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 153 OF 2012
(ON APPEAL FROM STCC NO. 2342 OF 2011)
Before : Hon Saw J in Court
Dates of Hearing : 26 April, 2 and 3 May 2012
Date of Judgment :3 May 2012
Date of Reasons for Judgment : 10 May 2012
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
1. On 26 May 2011 the appellant pleaded guilty to a charge of remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigrationafter having landed unlawfully contrary to s. 38(1)(b) of the Immigration Ordinance Cap. 115. He was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment (the Immigration offence). That sentence was ordered to be served consecutiveto sentences of 14 months’ imprisonment which had been imposed on 31 March 2011.
2. On 9 February 2012, the Hon Mr Justice D. Pang granted leave to the appellant to appeal against sentence out of time in respectof the Immigration offence.
3. On 3 May 2012 I allowed his appeal against sentence and reduced the term of imprisonment from 15 months to 13 months. I indicatedthat I would hand down my reasons in due course. These are my reasons.
4. On 24 May 2008 the appellant sneaked into Hong Kong by boat from the Mainland. On 29 May 2008, he was arrested by the police forillegally remaining in Hong Kong. He was released on a recognizance by the Immigration Department on 21 June 2008 after having beendetained by the Immigration Department for 23 days (the 1st period of administrative detention). On 12 November 2008, he was arrested for another offence, for which he was eventually convictedand sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment. A removal order was then made against him and on 12 March 2009 after another period ofadministrative detention of 34 days, he was again released on recognizance (the 2nd period of administrative detention). On 21 March 2011, for an offence of trafficking in dangerous drugs and an offence of theft,he was sentenced to a total term of 14 months’ imprisonment.
5. Thus it was that the total number of days that he was detained in administrative detention was 57 days.
6. The appellant wishes that these be deducted from the sentences he is now serving as he has been advised and the respondent has confirmed,after considering section 67A(1A) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance Cap. 221, that the time spent in administrative detention by the appellant does not count for the purpose of calculating his sentenceand release date for the sentences he is now serving.
7. In the lower court which dealt with the Immigration offence, Counsel then appearing for the appellant told the magistrate that itwas the appellant’s instructions that the appellant did not want the court to take into account the period he had spent in administrativedetention. The magistrate acceded to that request and imposed a sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment and ordered that it be consecutiveto the term of imprisonment imposed on 21 March 2011.
8. In his home-made ground of appeal, the appellant said he now wants the 57-day administrative detention deducted from the 15 months’imprisonment.
9. The reason for his change of mind is unclear but I was satisfied that irrespective of his earlier instructions to his own Counselhe was nevertheless entitled to have those periods taken into account.
10. On behalf of the respondent Mr Cheng did not oppose this course and the appeal was allowed to that extent only.
Mr Andrew Cheng, PP of the Department of Justice, for the Respondent
The Appellant in person, present