HKSAR v. SUEN CHAK KEUNG

DCCC541/2011

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 541 OF 2011

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HKSAR
v.
Suen Chak-keung

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Before: H H Judge Tallentire

Date: 22 August 2011 at 10.04 am

Present: Ms Kelly Shui, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Ms Sim Siow Eng, Suzanne, instructed by Ford, Kwan & 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. Defendant, you pleaded guilty to a single offence of trafficking in dangerous drugs, contrary to sections 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap.134.

2. You admitted the brief facts and I convicted you on those facts.

3. What happened is as follows. At around 9.04 pm on 15 March last, police officers in the vicinity of Ping Tin Estate, Lam Tin, sawyou and a female alight from a private car and act suspiciously. You were intercepted outside Ping Yan House, Ping Tin Estate. A search revealed a cigarette box containing 2 plastic bags containing white powder, which is Exhibit 1. This was in your rightfront jacket pocket.

4. Under arrest and caution, you made a full and frank confession and admitted carrying the drugs for someone as you had to repay afinance company.

5. In a subsequent video recorded interview, you admitted trafficking in ketamine for an unknown male who would pay you $100 for thedelivery. You owed a finance company $30,000 which you had used to treat your mother’s illness.

6. At the time of your arrest you had in your possession $496.10 and two mobile phones.

7. Subsequent analysis revealed it to be 26.95 grammes of a powder containing 10.84 grammes of ketamine.

8. You are a young man of clear record.

9. Miss Sim, your counsel, entered mitigation on your behalf. She told me you were in fact a drug addict and would have used someof the ketamine yourself. She asked me to take this into account when assessing sentence.

10. She went on to say that at the time of the offence you were unemployed and previously you had worked as a kitchen assistant.

11. In court today was your mother who suffered from psychiatric problems and was facing surgery, your girlfriend and the social worker. They had come to support you.

12. She went on to say that you committed the offence as you hold a debt of $30,000 to a finance company, money which you had used foryour mother’s treatment.

13. You had expressed remorse and this is evidenced by your plea of guilty. You are 20 years of age and have a clear record. I amtold that you prefer prison to any other institution. Finally, she had urged me to be lenient.

14. I turn now to the sentence. Trafficking in dangerous drugs is a very serious matter indeed. The present offence involves 10.84grammes of ketamine. As Miss Sim rightly said, the tariff is some 4 to 6 years’ imprisonment. In your favour I do accept thatyou are remorseful as demonstrated by your plea of guilty, that you are of clear record, you were youthful and you would have usedsome of the drugs yourself.

15. I also accept that your financial difficulties arose because of your taking out a debt to assist your mother. I note the supportof your girlfriend and your mother.

16. Taking all matters into account, I propose to take the very bottom of the tariff. Therefore, I take a starting point of 4 years’imprisonment, that is 48 months, reduced to 32 months for your plea of guilty.

Tallentire
District Judge