Defendant you have pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. You have admitted that on 11 February 2014 in Hong Kong you unlawfully trafficked in 27.11 grammes of a crystalline solid containing23.19 grammes of methamphetamine hydrochloride. This drug is commonly known as “ice”.
On the day in question a team of police officers carried out an operation in the vicinity of Victoria Park, Causeway Bay. At about8.10 pm an officer saw you acting suspiciously under a flyover near the park. You were intercepted as you were walking into VictoriaPark a short while later.
Upon a body search the police officer found the drugs contained in a transparent plastic bag. You were arrested and cautioned.Undercaution you said “Ah Sir, I have no money and I therefore help others to deliver the drugs for some money”. The estimated retailvalue of the drugs is HK$12,100.
Mr Martyn Richmond, your counsel, has very helpfully and thoroughly mitigated on your behalf. You are 41 years old and are single.You were born in Hong Kong but are a holder of a Portuguese passport, hence your name, as your father comes from Macau.
You have one criminal conviction which is for criminal damage which you served 180 hours of community service in 1990, when you werethen 17 years of age. In mitigation, I have had regard to the letters written by your father, your mother and your ex-girlfriend.
I have also received a medical report in relation to your mental condition. It appears to me that you suffer from paranoid schizophrenia.You have been attending the Kowloon Hospital since March of 2012. In May 2012, you were admitted to the psychiatric department ofthat hospital as a result of a psychiatric episode.
I am informed that after your discharge from hospital, feeling weak and vulnerable, you fell under the influence of dubious peers.You were then introduced to the drug “ice” as a means to mitigate your psychological and practical problems. Following on fromthat, you met the person who gave you the drugs to deliver to another person on this occasion.
It appears to me, from the letters of reference, that you are a kind man and had a good job helping and working for the elderly persons.As Mr Richmond correctly points out, the biggest factor in mitigation is your plea of guilty, which is a positive reflection of yourremorse. You, of course, have not been involved with the law or broken any law for some 25 years.
The case to which Mr Richmond refers as to the sentencing tariff for “ice” is proper and that is Attorney-General v Ching Kwok Hung. The amount of drugs involved falls within the second category, as stated in Ching of amounts of between 10 and 70 grammes, then a sentence of between 7 to 10 years’ imprisonment after trial is appropriate.
As this case demonstrates, you were a simple mule. You were going to deliver the drugs to someone else at the park. For this delivery,you were to receive $500.
Applying the guidelines and tariff, had you been convicted after trial, I would have taken a sentence of 7 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.
Giving you the full one-third discount for your plea of guilty, you are sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.