IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 629 OF 1975
Coram: Huggins & McMullin, JJ.
Date of Judgment: 29th August 1975.
1. This is an application for leave to appeal against a sentence of 2½ years’ imprisonment for robbery. It was a serious robbery. Aman was asleep in his cubicle when he was awakened to find the Appellant in front of him holding a chopper. There was a second manthere and together they tied up the man in the cubicle, gagged him and covered his head with a shirt. It was then that an elderlywoman and her young grand-daughter came to the door. She rang the bell and it was opened by the robbers. They dragged the woman andher grand-daughter into the cubicle and tied and gagged both of them. They then stole a quantity of jewellery, cash and other valuables.
2. For that offence 2½ years was a very lenient sentence. The reason it was so lenient was that the learned judge was told that theAppellant had already been sentenced to 5½ years’ imprisonment in toto for two other robberies. Nevertheless, he thought that thesentence should be consecutive. That, however, is not the whole picture. The Appellant had previously been sentenced to four months’imprisonment in September 1974 for membership of a Triad Society. It was while he was serving that sentence that he was convictedof the two robberies and sentenced to a further 5½ years’ imprisonment. I say “a further 5½ – he had not completed his four months’imprisonment and the last few days of that period would have been concurrent, but substantially he would have served for those threeoffences a total of five years and ten months. The robbery for which he now stands convicted was committed in July 1974 before hewas charged with any of those offences. Had the police known that the Appellant was connected with this offence in December 1974he could have been charged with this offence at the same time as the others. However, the evidence which connected the Appellantwith the present offence was a finger-print which was not matched until July of the present year. We are told that the Appellantwas invited to have any other offences taken into consideration and did not admit to the present one, but we do not attach any greatweight to that.
3. We are clearly of opinion that a total of eight years and four months for all these offences was too heavy. The question is whatwe ought to do. It is true that the present offence was of a nature which well justified a consecutive sentence, but we do not thinkthat a total in excess of six years would have been justified for all these offences. We are going to err, if at all, on the lenientside and we shall allow the appeal and order that the present sentence run concurrently with the others.
9th August 1975.