Appeal court jails pirate 'couriers'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 September, 1999, 12:00am

The Court of Appeal cracked down on people involved in peddling pirated goods yesterday, quashing suspended sentences imposed on two 'couriers' and sending them to jail instead.

Mr Justice Brian Keith said no distinction should be made in terms of sentencing between those who sell the discs and people employed to transport them. 'The roles played by storemen, packers, delivery men and salesmen may be different, but we do not see much difference between them in terms of criminal culpability,' he said.

Choi Sai-lok and Mak Wai-hon had been given suspended sentences by District Court Judge Richard Davies in January because of the role they played.

Both were arrested in Shamshuipo in April 1995 in possession of pirated video compact discs.

Choi was found to be carrying 719 discs and Mak 544, as well as 100 music CDs.

Nearby premises, accessed with keys held by Mak, revealed another 21,763 pirated VCDs.

Choi had been given an 18-month sentence suspended for two years and Mak a two-year sentence, also suspended for two years. Both admitted possessing the pirated goods found in the street.

Mak also pleaded guilty to possessing those found in the building.

Mr Justice Keith, sitting with Mr Justice Michael Stuart-Moore and Mr Justice Gerald Nazareth, ordered Choi to serve an immediate term of six months and Mak nine months.