IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF APPEAL
Coram: Power, V.-P. and Stuart-Moore, J.A.
Date of Hearing: 24 September 1998
Date of Judgment: 24 September 1998
J U D G M E N T
Stuart-Moore, J.A. (giving the judgment of the Court):
1. On 11th May 1998, this Applicant (D2 at trial) appeared in the District Court before Judge Hawkes when he was dealt with for threeoffences to which he had pleaded guilty on an earlier occasion. The Applicant has today indicated his wish to abandon his applicationto appeal against the two-year sentence he received. Accordingly, as it has not been pursued we can dismiss it. However, before movingfrom this matter altogether, we feel it right to comment upon a most important and unfortunate turn of events which happened in theApplicant’s case in the hope that this will not recur.
2. This Applicant was prepared to plead guilty from a very early stage. Not only that, he had been most cooperative and had provideda statement as a witness against others in his case. No doubt that is why, in due course, the Applicant was treated so lenientlyon the sentence. However, when the trial of his co-defendants was listed, they pleaded guilty. Originally, this Applicant was dueto be sentenced at the end of that trial. The co-defendants were then dealt with by a judge in the District Court. The same judge,of course, ought to have dealt with this Applicant’s case. Most unfortunately, that did not happen.
3. It is important that what this court said in R v Chan Kwok-hung, (1996) 4 HKC 559, should be borne in mind. In particular, the Court at page 562 said:
4. We wish to express the strongest disapproval, in the absence of any reasons given by the judge who sentenced this Applicant, thatthe judge who dealt with the co-defendants was not also called upon to deal with this Applicant.
5. Miss Chan, on behalf of the Respondent, has undertaken to remind those in her Chambers of the procedure in Chan which ought to be adopted, where two or more defendants are to be sentenced but, for one reason or another, the dates listed forsentence have somehow become separated in time. There is a duty on the prosecution to remind the court of the importance of one judge, wherever practicable, dealing with the sentencing of all defendants in a case, preferably on the same occasion, unless there are good reasons for his being unable to do so.
Ms. Evena Chan, G.C. for D.P.P./Respondent
Applicant in person.