HKSAR v. TAM WAI SHING

HCMA000379/1998

HCMA379/98

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

(Appellate Jurisdiction)

MAGISTRACY APPEAL HCMA NO.379 OF 1998

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BETWEEN
HKSAR Respondent
AND
TAM WAI SHING Appellant

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Coram : Hon Nguyen, J. in Court

Date of hearing : 23 June 1998

Date of judgment : 23 June 1998

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J U D G M E N T

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1. The Appellant pleaded guilty to reckless driving and on 19th March 1998, he was convicted and fined $5,000 and disqualified fromdriving for six months. When he pleaded guilty, he had appeared in person. On 30th March 1998, he appeared again with Counsel andinitially sought a reversal of his plea of guilty. When that was refused, he, through his Counsel, sought a review of the sentenceimposed. Counsel quite properly put forward all the mitigating factors in a bid to ask the Magistrate to review his sentence. Thosemitigating factors were quite clearly considered by the learned Magistrate before he turned down the application for a review ofthe sentence.

2. He now appeals against sentence and the ground of appeal is that the learned Magistrate failed to give any, or any sufficient, considerationto all the relevant mitigating factors. Quite clearly after Counsel addressed the learned Magistrate on the review of the sentence,the mitigating factors must have been very much in the mind of the Magistrate when he refused the review application.

3. It is then said that the sentence which was imposed was manifestly excessive and/or wrong in principle. Offences involving recklessdriving and knocking down pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing are extremely serious, accordingly they should be sentenced in accordancewith the seriousness of that offence. The Courts, as the learned Magistrate pointed out, have a duty to protect pedestrians who arelawfully crossing the road on a pedestrian crossing. The message must also go out to all drivers that anybody who knocks down a pedestrianon a pedestrian crossing is looking at immediate suspension of his driving licence.

4. Sympathetic as I am that the suspension will no doubt cause some hardship to the Appellant’s family, I cannot find any basis forsaying that the sentence imposed by the learned Magistrate was manifestly excessive or wrong in principle. Accordingly the appealis dismissed.

(Peter Nguyen)
Judge of the Court of First Instance,
High Court

Representation:

Mr W.S. Cheung, SGC, for Director of Public Prosecutions

Mr Bernard Chung, inst’d by M/s P.C. Woo & Co, for Appellant