IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
CRIMINAL CASE NO 547 OF 2013
Transcript of the Audio Recording
of the Sentence in the above Case
COURT: I have to sentence you for trafficking in a dangerous drug. The drug in question was ketamine and you were caught carrying 1.47 kilogrammesof it. You will have been told that sentencing for drug trafficking is based upon guidelines which are, in turn, based upon the natureand quantity of the drug.
The guideline in your case ran out at 1,000 grammes, or 1 kilogramme, by weight which attracted a sentence of 14 years’ imprisonmentafter trial. The previous band went from 600 grammes to 1,000 grammes, attracting a starting point of 12 to 14 years’ imprisonment.You had very nearly half as much again of the limit of 1,000 grammes where the guidelines run out.
I will give you a one-third discount for your plea of guilty, and when it comes to looking at your role in this matter, I will acton the basis of what you told to the police and what your counsel asserts on your behalf, namely that you were a first-time courierdoing this for a reward of $1,000.
I will also act on the basis of the mitigation put forward, that you have been a good son, you have been law-abiding, you were thoughtwell of at school; in effect, that it was out of character and that you are still young and that this was an isolated event.
I was asked to adjourn for a background report. I have not done that because I cannot see how it would have helped either you or mebecause I am prepared to act on all that is asserted upon your behalf.
Given the weight of the drug in question, there is bound to be an increase on the 14-year starting point which follows for havingonly 1,000 grammes. But in judging how far or how great an increase there should be from that figure, I do bear in mind the mitigationadvanced and, in particular, the isolated offence, your background and the size of the reward.
Accordingly, I shall take a starting point of 15 years and then reduce that by one-third to reflect the plea of guilty. The resultis a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
It is a long sentence but it could have been longer. In my judgment, it is the least sentence you could hope for in the circumstances.