1994, No.661






Coram: Hon. Power, V-P, Liu & Mayo, JJA in Court

Date of Hearing: 17 October, 1995

Date of Judgment: 17 October, 1995




Liu JA:

1. The applicant stood charged before the District Court with wounding with intent. The facts were: on 20 May 1994, in a men’s dormitoryin Shamshuipo, the applicant led a group of four men including himself, and inflicted horrific wounds on the victim. In the attack,two men kept watch and two, including the applicant, carried a beef knife and a Gurkha knife. He was convicted by the District Judgeand sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He applied for leave to appeal against his conviction and his application was dismissedby the Court of Appeal on 4 May 1995. He now seeks leave to appeal against his sentence out of time.

2. The main reason advanced to explain his dilatoriness is that he had full confidence in his appeal against conviction and that, therefore,he found it quite unnecessary to also launch an application for leave to appeal against sentence. The explanation is hardly a goodone but we hear the applicant de bene esse, that is, to say, tentatively.

3. The ground for his application for leave to appeal against sentence is that his sentence of seven years is “too severe”. It representsthe maximum penalty which a district judge could by law impose.

4. He had asked for a medical report of the victim because, so he believed, the victim had fully recovered. That request was denied,and the applicant renewed his request before us. Mr Reading, counsel for the Crown has obtained a medical report. It would appearthat the victim has had indeed a remarkable recovery. We have been provided to-day also the additional information by the applicant’smother: his father is sick and unemployed; she has a chronic heart condition; the contribution to the family came substantially fromthe applicant. We are also told that the applicant is a married man with a baby. The other culprits have not been apprehended.

5. From the evidence against the applicant, he led the gang in the attack in the Shamshuipo men’s dormitory. The judge referred tothe then condition of the victim, but the real emphasis he placed was on the wounds inflicted upon the victim. The photographs showhorrific injuries on the body of the victim. He sustained left lower abdominal wound, 4cm long with small bowels protruding out.He had a forehead cut of 10 cm long with dirt inside his wound. He received another cut in his left buttock 5 cm long. There werea number of cuts on his left shoulder. On top of his right forearm, he received another cut 3 com long. We agree wholly with thejudge that the wounds were of sufficient gravity to reflect the wounding as a serious one. The judge, in his reasons for sentence,took into consideration the youth of the applicant and his clear record. And we have also taken into consideration his family commitmentsand the fact that he is married and the father of a baby.

6. However, all this cannot detract form the fact, as the judge said, that this is a case “a t the very top of seriousness for woundingoffences”. There is nothing in his proposed Grounds of Appeal. The reason given in support of his application for leave to appealagainst sentence out of time is less than adequate.

7. His application is refused.

(N.P. Power)

(B Liu)
Justice of Appeal

(Simon Mayo)
Justice of Appeal

Mr J Reading, S.A.C.P. of Crown Prosecutor of respondent

Mohammad Shahzad Bashir Appellant in Person