DCCC 456/ 2009
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 456 OF 2009
Reasons for Sentence
The charge and facts
1. The Defendant pleads guilty to burglary of a garage. At 10:30 a.m. on 26 March 2009, NG Wah-fat climbed up a wooden ladder to theattic and put his shoulder bag there. The attic was part of a garage located at Ground Floor, 184 Pratas Street, Shamshupo, Kowloon(“Garage”). There was no cabinet and the attic was only partially enclosed. NG was a worker in the Garage.
2. At around 3 p.m., LEE Shung-moon attended the Garage for repair. At 3:30 p.m., LEE saw a male (later known to be the Defendant)coming out from the Garage with something in his hand in a furtive manner. LEE alerted NG and asked if NG knew the male. NG didnot know the male. LEE followed the male from behind. NG went up to the attic to check his shoulder bag. It was missing. He reportedthe matter to the police.
3. As the Defendant was walking in a fast pace along Pratas Street, LEE sped up to pursue and shout at him. The Defendant startedto run. LEE intercepted him afterwards and held him on the ground. NG’s shoulder bag, which the Defendant had been holding,also fell off.
4. Soon NG and the police arrived. Upon enquiries, the Defendant said he was out of job and admitted the offence. The contents asparticularized in the charge as personal belongings and papers, etc., were recovered.
Mitigation put forward
5. The Defendant is 49 years of age. He had 10 previous court cases resulting in 5 convictions for theft and 1 for robbery, amongothers. He is married and lives with his wife and 2 sons, who are in the secondary school. He is the sole breadwinner of the family. He used to be a cook of Chinese cuisine. He was employed by a Chinese restaurant between 2006 and late 2008. The financial crashcost him his job. He committed the present offence to meet his domestic needs.
Sentencing guidelines for non-domestic premises
6. In R v Wong Man  1 HKC 80, the Court of Appeal said that the proper starting point for non-domestic premises would be 2 ½ years’ imprisonment for a firstoffender of full age (as per Macdougall JA), as later affirmed in HKSAR v Sim Ka-wing, CACC 450/2000.
The sentence I pass
7. Based on Wong Man (above), I take a starting point of 2 ½ years’ imprisonment. I give a one-third discount for the plea of guilty. There are noother mitigating factors. The sentence is 1 year and 8 months.