IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 1234 OF 2002
(ON APPEAL FROM NKCC 7247/2002)
Coram: Deputy High Court Judge Line in Court
Date of Hearing: 17 January 2003
Date of Judgment: 17 January 2003
J U D G M E N T
1. This is an appeal against sentence, the appellant having been sentenced to concurrent terms of 18 months’ imprisonment followinghis pleas of guilty to two offences of trafficking in a dangerous drug. The defendant was stopped leaving his flat and he had drugsupon him; back in the flat there were further drugs with packaging equipment. Under caution, he admitted that he took drugs to sellin discos.
2. There was a total of 10 grammes of Ecstasy, 23 grammes of Ketamine, half a gramme of methamphetamine and 93 tablets amounting tohalf a gramme of the active ingredient of nimetazepam. The Ecstasy and the Ketamine are to be dealt with in the same way and thetotal amount, taking them together, is some 33 grammes, which puts the starting point for sentence on the guidelines at 2 years andup.
3. The magistrate chose a starting point of 27 months and there were three good reasons to increase it from the minimum. The first reasonwas that this was not just Ecstasy and Ketamine, there was methamphetamine and the nimetazepam. Secondly, the drugs were being soldin discos; and thirdly, the amount was not at the very bottom of the bracket. For those reasons, the modest increase was entirelyjustified. The usual third was allowed for the plea and in the absence of some exceptional mitigation in the background of the defendant,18 months’ imprisonment was bound to be the sentence.
4. The magistrate called for and considered a Drug Addiction Treatment Centre Report and a report from the Probation Service. The appellantwas 20 years of age, he had already been to a training centre, and the magistrate judged there was no point in sending him back there.There was nothing in the appellant’s background which would have mitigated the sentence of 18 months. 18 months is the sentence Iwould have passed if I had been sitting as the magistrate.
5. In those circumstances, the order I make is to confirm the sentence.
Ms Agnes Chan, SGC, Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Appellant, Yam Mau Wing, in person