Pusher back in jail after term increased

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 May, 1996, 12:00am

A drug pusher was sent back to jail by the Court of Appeal yesterday, three months after completing his sentence.

Mr Justice Noel Power said the eight-month term imposed by District Court Judge Peter Surman was not adequate.

The court sentenced To Ka-yin, 22, to a year in jail instead.

To had been released from prison at the end of January. He sat in the public gallery during the appeal hearing yesterday and walked to the court cells after listening to the ruling.

The drug trafficker was sentenced on January 3 after admitting to six charges of dealing in small amounts of heroin.

He had already spent seven months in custody awaiting sentence.

He was arrested after supplying drugs, totalling 37 grams, to undercover police officers posing as addicts at Shek Wu Tong vegetable market in May last year.

The police operation, aimed at catching bigger dealers than To, lasted two weeks.

Judge Surman had criticised the police for not arresting To at the very first opportunity.

But Mr Justice Power said the delay was understandable given the nature of the operation.

The District Court judge should not have departed from the guidelines for sentencing in trafficking cases, he added.

Mr Justice Power, sitting with Mr Justice Charles Ching and Mr Justice Simon Mayo, said the right sentence would have been 18 months. This was reduced to a year to take into account the fact that To had already been released.