DCCC 403/2013





Tam Chi-fat


Before: HH Judge Woodcock

Date: 30 May 2013 at 3.06 pm

Present: Miss Janice Cheuk, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Lee King-chung, Alexander, of Li & Partners, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

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


Reasons for Sentence


1. 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. On 19 February this year, the police caught the defendant red-handed in possession of four plastic bags containing dangerous drugs. Government chemist certified that the powder was 111.03 grammes of a powder containing 77.22 grammes of ketamine. The approximatestreet value of this quantity is $13,434.63.

3. This was a stop-and-search case where the dangerous drug was found in the defendant’s jacket. Upon arrest, the defendant madea full admission. The defendant told the police that he had agreed to deliver the dangerous drugs for a few hundred dollars. Heagrees he acted as a drug courier.

4. Defendant is not a man of clear record, but he only has one conviction relating to dangerous drugs and that is possession of dangerousdrugs, and his conviction was in 2004. In that case, he was fined $1,000. Defence counsel says the defendant is not a drug addictand there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. I accept the defendant acted as a drug courier for a fee.

5. Defendant had been out of work for over six months. He used to contribute to his family who he lives with but at the time of theoffence, they were in fact giving him pocket money. Out of desperation, he accepted the offer. Defendant is also 32 years old andsingle.

6. The best mitigation is the defendant’s plea.

7. Defence counsel says he has explained to the defendant that the relevant authority is Secretary for Justice v Hii Siew Cheng [2008] 3 HKC 323. The appropriate and relevant guideline would be where 50 to 300 grammes of ketamine is trafficked, that would attract a startingpoint of between 6 to 9 years’ imprisonment.

8. I see no reason to depart from the guideline authority. Mathematically, the quantity of drugs in this case would attract a startingpoint of about 6 years and 3 months. I will take into account that it is the defendant’s first conviction for an offence of thisnature. I also take into account mitigation, the facts of the case and the defendant’s co‑operation with the police.

9. Defendant, please stand up. I will take a starting point for this offence of 6 years’ imprisonment. You have pleaded guiltyand you are entitled to a discount of 2 years for your plea. For this offence, you are sentenced to a period of 4 years’ imprisonment.Understand?

DEFENDANT: Understand.

A. J. Woodcock
District Judge