CRIMINAL CASE NO. 11 OF 2012
There is nothing in your personal circumstances or the circumstances of the commission of the offence which I find to be of any realmitigating value. I am told this morning both by your counsel, Mr Leung, and in the letter given to me, that you and your wife aresuffering financial hardship, but quite frankly, many young couples not only in Hong Kong and the mainland, but throughout the world,suffer similar financial hardship when they set out in life together. I have to bear in mind that in very few of them does the manresort to committing a serious criminal offence to try and lift that financial hardship. It is not a mitigating factor.
I note that you have a criminal record, but I also note that it is not for a similar offence, and I am going to take no account ofthe fact that you have a criminal record in determining your sentence.
From what I have been told this morning, you appear to be a good husband and you appear to be a man who shows respect to his parents.It also appears that you are a young man who has remained in employment; you are not a layabout living on social assistance. It isvery sad to hear that a young man of such a nature has fallen into this temptation.
Your mitigation lies in the fact that you have pleaded guilty to this offence and you pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.That shows realism on your part. It also is taken as an indication of remorse, and you will receive a substantial discount in sentencebecause of that early plea of guilty.
Your counsel will have told you that there are guidelines laid down by the Court of Appeal for myself and all judges as to how weshould sentence people who traffic in “Ice”, the substance you trafficked in. He will have told you that all judges are expectedto follow those guidelines unless there are very strong reasons for them not to do so, and I have to tell you that in your case,regrettably for you, there are no very such strong reasons for me to ignore those guidelines.
Had you taken this matter to trial – that means had you pleaded not guilty, but had a jury found you guilty of the offence – takinginto account the weight of the drugs involved in this case where the active content was 24.81 grammes of “Ice”, you would havebeen looking at a sentence of 8 years’ imprisonment.
Because of your realism, because of your plea of guilty, I am permitted to reduce that sentence by one-third, and that takes yoursentence down to one of 5 years and 4 months’ imprisonment, which is the sentence I now pass on you.
From what Mr Leung has told me this morning, there may be reason to believe that you may be able to persuade the Court of Appeal toreduce that sentence further in the future. I can say no more about it. I have no doubt that Mr Leung will give you certain advicewhich you could, and indeed should, follow; but those matters are out of my hands.