DCCC 439/2013





Yeung Kwok-ting


Before: HH Judge S D’Almada Remedios

Date: 25 July 2013 at 10.12 am

Present: Mr James H M McGowan, Counsel on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Yuen Kwok Wah, Bernard, instructed by Lam & Partners, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the defendant

Offence: Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)


Reasons for Sentence


1. Defendant, you have pleaded guilty to one charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug, contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

2. You have admitted that on 27 February 2013, at Tin Ching Estate, Ting Shui Wai, New Territories, you unlawfully trafficked in 8.64grammes of a crystalline solid containing 8.28 grammes of methamphetamine hydrochloride otherwise known as Ice.

3. On the day in question, police officers were on patrol in Tin Ching Estate. At about 45 minutes past midnight, they saw you actingfurtively and therefore intercepted you for a search. The drugs were found inside your right and left shoes. The drugs were containedin 16 separate packets. Also found on your person was $3,702.70 and a roll of orange adhesive tape. When you were cautioned forpossession of a dangerous drug, you admitted that you had bought the Ice from a girl name “Ah Man” for $5,000 with a view toresell them. You had just sold $200-worth of the drug Ice to “Yuk Kei” and if others had called you to buy Ice, you would sellit to them. The adhesive tape found on you was to pack the drugs for safekeeping which is clearly seen from the packing of the drugs. When you were then cautioned for trafficking in dangerous drugs you asked for a chance and said you only sold drugs because youwere poor and in need of money.

4. The estimated street value of the drugs was $6,010. At the time of the arrest, you said that at most 2 grammes were for your ownconsumption but the majority of the drugs were for trafficking.

5. You are 23 years old age and have two previous convictions, one of which is similar (trafficking in dangerous drugs) in 2007 whenyou were 16 years of age. You were sentenced to Rehabilitation Centre. At the time of this offence, you were a construction workerearning about $20,000 a month and contributing $6,000 to your parents whom you were living with. You are single.

6. Mr Bernard Yuen, your counsel, has mitigated fully and thoroughly on your behalf and I have taken into account all that he has hadto say in mitigation. He informs me that you had been addicted to Ice for some three years now and you had demonstrated your remorseand openness with the police by immediately admitting your guilt at the scene, even though at the time you were only arrested forpossession of dangerous drugs.

7. Mr Yuen has provided me with the case of HKSAR v Wong Suet-Hau, Ice, particularly that at paragraph 34 where defendants like yourself claim that part of the drugs to which they had in their possessionwas intended for self consumption.

8. As I am sure you have been well-advised, trafficking in dangerous drugs is a very serious offence and warrants an immediate periodof imprisonment. You are well aware of this yourself as you already have one similar previous. There are tariff guidelines laiddown by the Court of Appeal and for Ice the tariff is laid down clearly in Ching Kwok Hung.

9. You have said that the drugs in your possession were for mixed purposes, some for trafficking and some for your own self consumption. The total amount of drugs was 8.28 grammes of Ice. Had that whole amount been for trafficking in dangerous drugs, the appropriatestarting point would be one of about 72 months’ imprisonment. It has been agreed between the prosecution and you that, at most,2 grammes was for your own consumption. That would mean that 6.28 grammes would be for trafficking in a dangerous drug. However,the 2 grammes which was intended for your self consumption, as stated in Wong Suet Hau at paragraph 34, carries a sentence in any event and this itself is aggravated by the latent risk factor. This latent risk was clearlyevident in this case, you were out in the early hours of the morning wandering in the street, were actively selling drugs and waitingfor people to call you to sell drugs.

10. In those circumstances, defendant, taking into account all of these matters, I take a starting point for these drugs and your selfconsumption to be one of 66 months’ imprisonment. You have pleaded guilty, shown the court your remorse and saved the court muchtime. In those circumstances, the usual one-third discount is applicable and you shall therefore be sentenced to 44 months’ imprisonment.

(S. D’Almada Remedios)
District Judge