IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 556 OF 1989
Coram: Hon. Ryan J. in Court
Date of hearing: 6 February 1990
Date of delivery of judgment: 6 February 1990
1. The appellant was convicted by Mr. Crawshaw on an amended charge of taking part in the management of an unlicensed clinic. She nowappeals against that conviction.
2. The evidence was that on the 1st November 1988 a police party together with Dr. Lee Shue Kar visited premises at 4th Floor, No. 576Nathan Road. The sign board to the premises stated that premises specialised in gynaecology and skin diseases. Dr. Lee gave evidenceof having found inside the premises instruments and medicines along with name cards of Leung Mei Yee stating “gynaecological caseoverdue menstrual cycle, pregnancy tests results known immediately, special effect to cause menstrual flow, women’s insidious diseases,white vaginal discharge, frequent itchiness.”
3. A sketch of the premises was also produced showing the lay out, together with photographs. Dr. Lee was of the opinion that the premisescould be used as a clinic. A certificate was produced that the premises were not registered as such.
4. When the police party rang the bell, the appellant was seen to hurry to the kitchen and a loud metalic sound was heard. She thenreturned to the sitting room and after Detective Sergeant 951 identified himself she opened the door. She was found to be in possessionof keys to the premises. On enquiry she told the police she was keeping an eye on the premises for a female friend Goh Wan who hadgone to Mainland China to see a doctor.
5. There were two other women and a child in the premises. The women said they were there looking for a friend.
6. The prosecution called one of these two women as a witness, a Madam Woo Lai Chun. The Magistrate not surprising found her to be amost unsatisfactory witness. She could not remember clearly what had happened on that day and much of her evidence was contradictory.She could not identify the appellant nor give any details as to the appellant’s actions within the premises.
7. The Magistrate was however satisfied on the evidence that the premises were set up as a clinic and that Madam Woo had gone thereto see a doctor to get a contraceptive injection. He also accepted from her that she had been there before for the same purpose.The Magistrate was entitled to accept as true those points of her evidence and to reject the rest of it as unreliable.
8. On the basis of the evidence of Dr. Lee, the police officers and those facts of Madam Woo’s evidence which he accepted, he was entitledto find that the premises were on that day being operated as a clinic. This was so even though no hypodermic needles were found inthe premises.
9. The appellant made a statement in which she reiterated her earlier claim to be keeping an eye on the premises for Goh Wan. She alsoclaimed that Goh Wan used the premises to provide beauty treatment and that she had been there for this purpose. The Magistrate tookfrom the statement her acknowledgement that she was on that day the person who had control of the premises. He did draw an inferencethat she must have been carrying out duties such as answering the telephone and cleaning. There was no evidence to this effect andhe was wrong to draw such an inference.
10. It is submitted that the mere presence of the appellant is not sufficient to justify a finding that she was taking part in the management.I do not agree. The appellant was found in sole control of the premises which were set up as a clinic and there was a patient inattendance. The Magistrate did hot specifically deal in his statement of findings with the appellant’s claim to believing that thepremises were used to provide beauty treatment. It would of course have been more satisfactory if he had done so but I am satisfiedfrom his findings that he must have rejected this explanation. Given the sign boards the layout of the premises and the name cardsand equipment found it is not surprising that he did.
11. I do not consider the verdict to be unsafe or unsatisfactory. The appeal is dismissed.
Mr. Steve Chui, S.C.C. for Crown
Mrs. M. Panesar, instructed by DLA for Appellant.