IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 365 OF 2009
Transcript of the Audio Recording
of the Sentence in the above Case
COURT: This defendant originally pleaded guilty at committal on 6 November 2009 to a charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs. A secondCharge was withdrawn by the prosecution at that time.
The charge involved 11.92 grammes of a solid containing 8.63 grammes of Cocaine; 38.42 grammes of a powder containing 32.92grammes of Ketamine; 1,170 tablets containing 108.70 grammes of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, which is Ecstasy, and 5.76 grammesof Ketamine; 600 tablets containing 4.24 grammes of Nimetazepam and 270 tablets containing 33.56 grammes of Ketamine.
Today the defendant confirmed before me the plea he entered at committal and also confirmed the facts that he had admitted onthat occasion.
Those facts show that the police were outside a flat and saw a man, later known to be Wan, enter the flat. They stopped himas he left a few minutes later and made inquiries as a result of which they tried to enter the flat. No one answered the door althoughsounds could be heard from inside the flat. Police tried to force their way in and this defendant was stopped as he tried to leaveby the rear exit.
The defendant was found to possess keys to the main gate and the front door. In a cabinet in the bedroom of the flat the drugsset out in the charge were discovered together with scales, scissors and plastic bags.
The defendant was arrested for trafficking. Under caution he said he was helping someone to look after the drugs so as to earnsome money and that his friend Wan had nothing to do with it.
The defendant has three previous convictions for possession of dangerous drugs but none for trafficking. He is 29 years old.He was born in Hong Kong and had education in Hong Kong to Form 5 level. He claims that he was addicted to ketamine for three yearsprior to his arrest. He is married and his wife lives in China; at present, they are undergoing a divorce.
I am advised that since he left school, the defendant has worked as a salesman and had a number of jobs since 1999, most ofwhich he kept for over a year.
Around the time of his arrest he was on sick leave, but he was not receiving compensation for the injury that he had received.His mother and aunt, who are in court this morning, have put in letters stating that defendant is a filial son; that he has shownremorse and that they wish him to have a lenient sentence. A similar letter was received from a friend of the defendant, althoughthat friend is not in court today.
The major mitigation in this case is the defendant’s plea of guilty for which he is entitled to a full one-third discount.In respect of the narcotic quantities, the cocaine quantity of 8.6 grammes comes into the bracket of 2 to 5 years. The ketamine 72.24grammes comes into the category of 6 to 9 years. Nimetazepam appears to be a benzodiazepam derivative, similar to Temazepam, Midazolamand Triazolam. It comes into the same family as Midazolam and is therefore on a methaquelone tariff. That tariff refers to sentencefor anything below 500 grammes and up to 2000 tablets to be as the court thinks fit. For the purposes of this sentence I am ignoringthe nimetazepam. The methylenedioxymethamphetamine, i.e. the Ecstasy is 108.70 grammes which comes in the same band as the Ketamine.
In considering sentence, I deal with it in this manner. I take a starting point of 7 years for the Ketamine and the Ecstasy.In respect of the Cocaine, I take into account 2 years, including in that 2 years an enhancement factor because this was a “cocktail”of drugs. I take a starting point altogether of 9 years and I sentence the defendant to 6 years’ imprisonment.