HKSAR v. TSE KIN FAI

DCCC 273/2013

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CRIMINAL CASE NO 273 OF 2013

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HKSAR
v
Tse Kin-fai (D2)
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Before: HH Judge S D’Almada Remedios

Date: 8 May 2013 at 10.24 am

Present: Ms Monica Chan, PP of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Ms Chan Suk-han, of Ho & Ip, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: Possession of a dangerous drug (管有危險藥物)

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Reasons for Sentence

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1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of a dangerous drug, contrary to section 8(1)(a) and (2) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

2. On 3 January 2013 you were in possession of 2.44 grammes of a solid containing 1.98 grammes of ketamine.

3. On that day, police officers observed you purchasing drugs from another person, they then stopped you and found the drugs upon yourperson. That was at the Ground Floor, Gala Place, No. 56, Dundas Street, Mong Kok on 3 January 2013.

4. Upon arrest and under caution, you said the “K-chai” was purchased for $350 for your own consumption.

5. Miss Chan has mitigated fully and thoroughly on your behalf before me, both today and on the last occasion.

6. Prior to sentencing you, I called for a probation officer’s report and a Drug Addiction Treatment Centre report.

7. You are 28 years of age and you have one previous conviction for possession of dangerous drugs in April of 2010, to which you weresentenced to probation for 12 months, and in April 2011 you were sentenced for a breach of your probation order to a further termof probation of 12 months.

8. The probation officer in the report before me today says, as your past 24 months’ probation supervision proved to be futile, opensupervision is deemed not suitable and not recommended in this case.

9. The medical officer has carefully observed you and examined you and he is of the opinion that you are not a drug-dependent. Therefore,you are not suitable for admission to a Drug Addiction Treatment Centre and you have never been sentenced to a Drug Addiction TreatmentCentre.

10. I have to say that I am somewhat puzzled by the medical officer’s opinion that you are not a drug-dependent. As can be seen fromthe probation report, you had started taking drugs as long ago as 2008 and during your probation period you had tested positive forketamine.

11. You have served two residential drug withdrawal programmes since April 2010 and, in the mitigation put forward by Miss Chan on thelast occasion, you again wanted to go to a residential drug withdrawal house of Christian New Life in respect of your drug dependencyand Christian New Life had submitted a letter to say that they had accepted you for a residential structured programme.

12. However, as I mentioned, it is somewhat surprising to me that you now say to the medical officer of the DATC that you are not drugdependent.

13. I indicated to you on the last occasion when I called for a probation report that there was little likelihood of me placing youon a third probation order and it has been confirmed to me that the probation officer does not consider you suitable at all. Youare not a drug dependent and, therefore, a DATC order is inappropriate.

14. You have pleaded guilty to an offence of possession of a dangerous drug. The drugs in question were ketamine. There was 1.98 grammesof ketamine, which you say was for your own consumption.

15. Your previous convictions have all been related to drugs.

16. I have no option in this case other than to sentence you to an immediate term of imprisonment.

17. Defendant, I have taken into account all the letters written on your behalf by the old age nursing home of your grandmother, yourlandlord and yourself. These are letters showing that you are a good-natured man and grandson. There is nothing exceptional inthese letters that can persuade me to sentence you other than to sentence of immediate imprisonment.

18. Had I convicted you after trial, defendant, I would have taken a starting point of 12 months’ imprisonment.

19. However, you have pleaded guilty and the full one-third discount is applicable and you shall therefore be sentenced to 8 months’imprisonment.

(S. D’Almada Remedios)
District Judge