IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
1995, No. 7
Coram: Hon Power, Ag. C.J., Litton, V.-P. and Bokhary, J.A.
Date of hearing: 4 May 1995
Date of judgment: 4 May 1995
J U D G M E N T
Litton, V.-P. (giving the judgment of the Court):
1. The applicant, a woman aged 29, was convicted after trial by His Honour Judge Britton in the District Court on one charge of traffickingin dangerous drugs and sentenced to four years three months’ imprisonment.
2. The facts are straight-forward. On 24 March 1994 at about 9.40pm outside Cheung Sha Wan Factory Building at Tokin Street, Shamshuipo,the applicant was stopped by the police. She appeared very nervous. A woman police officer was summoned. The applicant was searched.A plastic bag containing three packets of suspected dangerous drugs was found hidden beneath her waist. This turned out to be 83.58grammes of a mixture containing 26.14 grammes of salts of esters of morphine.
3. When questioned at the police station after caution, the applicant said she had been asked by a person called Ah Ming to deliverthe packet, which she knew was No. 4 heroin, to a person called Ah Chun at the exit of the MTR at the junction of Pei Ho Street andApliu Street. She said she went to the wrong station and got off at Cheung Sha Wan. She got lost, wandered around the industrialdistrict and was then stopped by the police and arrested. She said in her statement that she had been offered $3,000 to deliver thepackets of heroin.
4. Although it is not apparent from the judge’s Reasons for Verdict, it is clear from our examination of the record of the lower courtthat there was in fact evidence adduced concerning the circumstances under which that statement was taken; the judge was satisfiedupon the evidence that the statement was voluntarily made. The applicant did not give evidence either on the voir dire or on thegeneral issue. The effect was that there was no evidence from her to contradict the prosecution case. The amount of heroin involvedwas considerable. The judge was entitled to infer from all the evidence that she was trafficking in the dangerous drugs. The applicationfor leave to appeal against the conviction must therefore be dismissed.
5. As to the sentence of three years and four months’ imprisonment the judge rightly said that in relation to the guidelines of thiscourt the case came within the five to eight years’ bracket. He took a merciful view of the case, selected five years as the startingpoint and gave a discount for the fact that the applicant was a first offender; hence he sentenced her to four years and three months’imprisonment. The term is neither excessive in length nor has there been any error in principle. The application for leave to appealagainst sentence must likewise be dismissed.
Mr D.G. Saw and Miss Agnes Chan (Crown Prosecutor) for Respondent/Crown
Applicant (Lee Yuet-yee) in person