HKSAR v. TANG ON-PONG ALEX

DCCC792/2010

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 792 OF 2010

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HKSAR
v.
TANG On-pong Alex

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Before:

Deputy District Judge G. Lam

Date:

24 August 2010 at 3.42pm

Present:

Ms Lisa Go, PP, of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Ms Kamina Lai, instructed by Messrs Martin Law & Co.,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. The defendant pleaded guilty to 1 charge of “Trafficking in a dangerous drug”. The dangerous drug involved is cocaine.

Summary of Facts

2. Shortly past midnight on 8 May 2010, police officers saw the defendant sitting in a private car stopped outside Tsui Nam House,Tsui Ping North Estate in Kwun Tong. They approached the defendant and searched him as well as the private car. Next to the handbrake,the Police found a plastic bag which contained the following items :

(i) 1 plastic bag containing 43 transparent plastic bags containing a total of 12.10 grammes of a solid containing 9.24 grammes ofcocaine; and

(ii) 2 resealable plastic bags containing a total of 0.57 gramme of a solid containing 0.43 gramme of cocaine.

3. The defendant was arrested. Under caution, he admitted that he was delivering the cocaine for someone; however, he claimed thathe had not yet received any reward for doing so.

Mitigation & Sentence

4. The defendant is 19. He has 1 previous conviction, which is “Possession of dangerous drugs”. He was sentenced to DATC in June.

5. Defence counsel Miss LAI submitted that the defendant has only completed F.3. After leaving school, he later discovered his keeninterest in automobiles. He then enrolled in a 3-year motor vehicle technician training course and was supposed to graduate in May.But due to the present case, he could not do so. Miss LAI further submitted that the defendant has acknowledged his drug problemearly in the magistracy by volunteering to be admitted to DATC. He has deep reflections on his wrongdoing and is determined to reformhimself. The contents of the letter written by the defendant’s mother are noted.

6. Based on section 109A(1A) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap.221) and owing to the seriousness of this case, I took the view that it was unnecessary to obtain any pre-sentencing reports.The only available sentencing option in this case is immediate imprisonment.

7. A clear message must be conveyed to the general public that “drug trafficking” is a serious crime and that drug traffickers wouldmost certainly be punished by long-term imprisonment. The sentencing tariff for trafficking in cocaine is the same as heroin (seeAttorney General v Pedro Nel Rojas [1994] 2 HKCLR 69 and The Queen v LAU Tak-ming & others [1990] 2 HKLR 370). For up to 10 grammes, the sentence ranges from 2 to 5 years.

8. In this case, a total of 9.67 grammes of cocaine are involved. I adopt a starting point of 5 years imprisonment. One-third discountis given for the guilty plea, reducing the sentence to 3 years and 4 months. I will further reduce the sentence by 4 months becauseof the defendant’s young age. Apart from this, I see no other mitigating factors which warrant any further discount. The sentenceI pass is therefore 3 years.

(G. Lam)
Deputy District Judge