HKSAR v. SUEN HUNG

DCCC 378/2009

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 378 OF 2009

BETWEEN

HKSAR
and
Suen Hung

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Coram:

H.H.J. Li, Chief District Judge

Date of Judgment:

19 August 2009

Prosecution:

Mr. Ronald Mayne, Counsel on fiat, representing HKSAR

Defence:

Ms. Ody Lai, barrister, instructed by Messrs. Wong & Co.

Charge:

Attempt to cause prostitution of another person (企圖導致另一人賣淫罪) contrary to s.131 and 159G, Crimes Ord., Cap. 200

_________________

Reasons for sentence

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1. The defendant pleads guilty to one count of attempt to cause prostitution of another person [1].

2. On 29 May 2007, a woman police officer telephoned the defendant pretending to be interested in an advertisement on earning quickmoney in New Zealand. The defendant subsequently met the officer at a MacDonald Restaurant and told the officer that she could earnabout HK $30,000 to $40,000 a month as a prostitute in Auckland. The defendant also requested for an introduction fee of $2,000.On 30/5/07, the defendant took the officer to a travel agency to arrange a flight to New Zealand. The defendant promised to arrangea person to meet the officer at the airport at New Zealand. The defendant was later arrested on 11/6/07 when the officer met herto pay the introduction fee. Telephone record confirmed that there was communication between the defendant and the officer at thematerial time. The defendant left Hong Kong in April/08 and was re-arrested when entering Hong Kong in March/09.

3. The defendant is 48. She has three previous convictions. She was convicted of living on the earning of a prostitute in 1996 andwas sentenced to 6 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months. The defendant was trained as a nurse in the Mainland. She marriedand came to Hong Kong in 1990. She has a son who is 15 years old. Her husband passed away after contracting SARS in 2003. The defendantthen worked in an elderly home. Unfortunately, she had an ear condition which prevented her from working and had to rely on CSSA.Due to financial problem, she later worked as a prostitute. Her son is now under the care of the grandma at Beijing.

4. The defendant claims that she is going to marry her boyfriend in UK after this case. She asks for leniency.

5. I have considered the circumstances of the defendant. There is no strong mitigating factor to be lenient. The culpability of thisoffence is similar to that of living on the earning of a prostitute. Immediate custodial sentence is warranted. Further, I regardthe international element an aggravating factor that warrants a higher starting point.

6. I appreciate that there is no coercion or exploitation in this case. There is no evidence of any syndicated operation either. Havingconsidered the above, I take 12 months as the starting point. I deduct 4 months for her plea. I sentence the defendant to 8 monthsimprisonment.

Patrick Li
Chief District Judge

[1] Contrary to s. 131(1)(a) and 159G of the Crimes Ordinance, Cap. 200.