HKSAR v. YIP KAM WAH

HCCC181/2009

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 181 OF 2009

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HKSAR
v
YIP KAM-WAH (葉金華)

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Before: Hon Line J in Court

Date: 23 October 2009 at 9.57 am

Present: Mr K J Oderberg, on fiat, for HKSAR
Mr Robert Pang Yiu-hung, instructed by Anthony Kwan & Co., assigned by the Director of Legal Aid,for the Accused

Offence: (1) Robbery(搶劫罪)
(2) Taking conveyance without authority (未獲授權而取用運輸工具)

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Transcript of the Audio Recording
of the Sentence in the above Case

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COURT: Stand up, please. I have to deal with you for robbery and taking a vehicle without consent. The robbery was a serious one. The facts have just been read out in court, and there is no need for me to repeat them back to you now.

You were a part of a gang of three men. The robbery that you undertook was one where a chopper and a cutter were displayed andused to threaten.

Following well-known principles in sentencing robbers, that would give a starting point of 5 years after trial by itself. Butyour conduct on this occasion involved further aggravating features, namely the invasion of private premises and the fact that youtied the victims up, blindfolding them and gagging them. They must have been terrified. That would take the starting point to atleast 7 years.

But then there is the fact that there were three robbers involved and there were three victims. There were threats uttered tothe victims. They were seriously threatened. Their clothes were cut, and the violence directed to them was for the purpose of themdisclosing their PIN numbers. Those further aggravating features increase the starting point, in my judgment, to one of 9 years’imprisonment.

The property you took was that habitually carried on or about the person of people these days: their watches, their telephones,and what was in their wallets. I appreciate that the total value of those items was not great, but your conduct clearly revealedthat you hoped for more. You used one of their vehicles to leave the scene, but it was soon recovered.

In those circumstances, on Count 2 I shall pass a sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment, but I shall make that concurrent. Youare in breach of a suspended sentence that had been passed for an offence of theft. In the absence of something making it unjust,that has to be implemented consecutively. This was serious and deliberate criminal conduct undertaken in the operational periodof the suspended sentence. It will have to be implemented consecutively therefore.

The matter is old, occurring in 2002, but that delay in no way falls at the door of the prosecution. It was only advances intechnology that allowed the police to bring you to justice by identification of your palm print through the computer database, andalso by the analysis of the cigarette butt. The other two men remain free in respect of this crime and unpunished for it.

I have given you a one-third discount for your plea of guilty. Accordingly, the sentence on Count 1 is one of 6 years’ imprisonment. The total imprisonment today is 6 years and 3 months.