THE Government was yesterday accused of failing to do enough to rehabilitate criminals after a pastor's attempt to free a reformed drug trafficker was rejected by a High Court judge. Charles McKnelly pleaded with the judge to show mercy, saying the defendant had changed his ways to such an extent that he had even redecorated the church and mended the roof while on bail. But Mr Justice Wong jailed Wong Kam-ping, 41, for seven years when he admitted trafficking in 72 grams of heroin, and told him that in other parts of Asia he would have faced the death penalty. After the hearing Mr McKnelly said: 'He has been thrown to the dogs. I am terribly upset and hurt. We worked so hard to bring this man around to a point where he can be a benefit to society. 'Prison is likely to push him back into the very environment which caused him to take drugs in the first place.' The pastor, who has been campaigning for many years for offenders to be rehabilitated instead of incarcerated, claimed that 70 per cent of the territory's prisoners are back behind bars within two years of being released. 'I am hoping that someone in the Government will take notice. Punishment is not the answer,' he said. His comments were backed up by Jane Crawley, Vice-President of the Prisoners' Friends' Association, who said there was no rehabilitation or pre-release training for adult prisoners in Hong Kong. She said the association had sent a letter to the Governor and members of the Legislative Council considering the proposed Post Release Supervision of Prisoners Bill. Mr McKnelly gave character evidence on behalf of Wong, nicknamed 'little', whom he said was making marvellous efforts to become a decent citizen after 30 years of criminal activity. The pastor told the judge Wong had become 'a new man' after a magistrate took the unusual step of releasing him on bail prior to appearing at the High Court for sentence. It was a condition of bail that he live at the pastor's Glorious Praise Christian Centre in Shek Lei Pui. During the six months he spent there Wong, who committed his first crime when aged 13, kicked his drug habit and began helping addicts and offenders who wished to reform. He even saved the church $30,000 to $40,000 by working 14 hours a day to redecorate the premises and mend the roof, sometimes paying for building materials himself. Wong regularly attended Bible classes and prayer meetings. He told church members he treasured this chance to change his life. But Mr Justice Wong said: 'Trafficking in dangerous drugs is a heinous offence. In Hong Kong many people are complaining our punishments are too light.'