IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 760 OF 1973
Coram: Huggins & McMullin, JJ.
Date of Judgment: 13th December 1973.
1. The Appellant comes before this court on an appeal against a sentence passed by a District Judge after a breach of a probation order.The Appellant was one of seven young men charged in 1970 with demanding with menaces. They stopped a young girl at 4.30 in the morningand demanded money from her, threatening possible disfigurement if she did not pay and also threatening her if she went to the police.This Appellant played a minor part in the offence but, like all the other Accused, he received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonmentwhen the sentence of imprisonment came to be imposed. Initially, because he was younger than the others – then under 21 – he wasplaced on probation. The learned judge said that he saw no reason for differentiating between this Appellant and the other Accused.In so saying he, of course, was bearing in mind the fact that this Appellant had had his chance and had been in breach of probation,but in our view the part played by this Appellant was so much less than that, for example, of the first Accused (the main offender)that a sentence of 18 months in the present case was not justified. The learned judge was right to say that a probation order isas binding at the end as it is at the beginning, but it is a matter which we are entitled, and indeed bound, to take into considerationthat the Appellant had worked out the major part of his period of probation before he was in breach.
2. In all the circumstances we shall substitute a sentence of six months’ imprisonment.
13th December 1973.