IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
MAGISTRACY APPEAL No.1047 of 1995
Coram: Hon. Duffy, J. in Court
Date of hearing: 28 November 1995
Date of handing down judgment: 1 December 1995
J U D G M E N T
1. This was an appeal against sentence, the appellant having pleaded guilty to driving a motorcycle which was not registered, for whichhe was fined $1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid licence for which he was fined $1,500 and for driving a vehicle withoutthird party insurance for which he was fined $2,000 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
2. Naturally, it was the disqualification which concerned the appellant, as he is a lorry driver by occupation and would lose his livelihoodif the disqualification was allowed to stand.
3. Between the appellant and the Crown in the course of the appeal hearing I built up a composite picture of the situation in whichthe appellant drove this motorcycle. The road, so-called, is a narrow unnamed path between villages in the New Territories normallyused only by motorcycles and bicycles, but with some pedestrian traffic. The appellant had pushed his motorcycle from one of thevillages on to the road and was driving up the road in order to get to the hillside where he intended to use the motorcycle for fun.The distance was relatively short.
4. I felt that disqualification in these circumstances was somewhat harsh, and exercising my discretion I found that the circumstancesamounted to special reasons why disqualification need not be ordered. The appellant was not using the motorcycle for general useon the public roads of Hong Kong, but using it on a hillside, and his only fault lay in driving it the short distance along a narrowunnamed path to get to the hillside. I therefore allowed the appeal to the extent that I removed the disqualification, but I increasedthe fine for driving without insurance to one of $5,000. The other fines remain unchanged.
Mr F. Veltro, C.C. for Crown
Appellant Lee Chung Man in person