IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 703 OF 2012
Reasons for Sentence
1. The defendant has pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in 38.45 grammes of ketamine.
2. Just before 7 o’clock on the evening of 5 June 2012, officers were conducting an anti-crime patrol outside Mei Lam Commercial Complexwhen they noticed the defendant behaving suspiciously. He was stopped and searched, and the drugs, subject to the charge, were foundin his possession.
3. The defendant admitted to the police that he had been to Shenzhen through Lowu Terminal at 10 am in mid-May and bought 2 ounces ofketamine from a person called Ah Lung for 2,800 renminbi. He said that he bought the drugs for his own consumption. He said heput the ketamine in his underpants and returned to Hong Kong through Lok Ma Chau at about 1 am to 2 am on the following day and placedthe ketamine at his home.
4. He was arrested and cautioned and under caution said the ketamine was for his own consumption. And later when given the opportunityto make a cautioned statement, he remained silent.
5. The only matter recorded on his record was a conviction in 2007 for possession of infringing products for which he was given a 150-hourcommunity service order.
6. The defendant is aged 26. He was born in Shenzhen and came to Hong Kong when he was 3. He was educated to Secondary 3 level butlater went on a vocational council course in car repairing. He lives with his mother. He has two older siblings but they live apartfrom the family. Apparently, he has had a drug habit involving ketamine since 2004 and takes ketamine on a daily basis.
7. In mitigation, his counsel has frankly admitted that the defendant has told him that on the day in question he was acting as a courierin respect of the drugs in his possession. He intended to give the drugs to somebody else but was arrested before he was able todo so.
8. I am told by his counsel that he wished to be helpful with the police but genuinely did not know the name or details of the personwho would receive the drugs from him.
9. A letter has been handed by the defendant to the court in which he states he is very remorseful and ashamed of his behaviour.
10. Whilst in custody, he has had an opportunity of reflecting on his situation and has promised to reform and get proper work when heis eventually released.
11. As counsel has quite rightly pointed out, there are no aggravating features which would increase the usual sentence passed for personsin possession of this quantity of ketamine.
12. He has pleaded guilty as soon as he was in receipt of sensible legal advice and is deserving of receiving a full discount for thatplea.
13. A starting point for this offence is 5 years’ imprisonment, and I reduce that by one-third to reflect the guilty plea. He willgo to prison, therefore, for 40 months.