Husband with drugs for ill wife wins appeal

A MAN who claimed that heroin found in his possession was for his wife in China to ease her pain from intestinal cancer, yesterday won a two-year reduction in his jail sentence in the Court of Appeal.

Yeung Cheuk-fai, 33, had pleaded guilty before Deputy Judge Sharwood to two counts of possessing more than 300 grams of a heroin mixture for trafficking, and was sentenced to nine years' jail on May 10, 1991.

In mitigation, Yeung's counsel submitted that all the drugs were intended for his wife because she could not afford morphine injections at $200 each.

The judge took a starting point of 12 years; defence counsel suggested a sentence of eight to nine years would be appropriate.

On appeal, Mr Andy Hung argued that the judge failed to take into full account all the mitigating factors.

Mr Justice Silke, acting as Chief Justice for the first time yesterday, said the issue before the court was whether the judge gave sufficient discount in the light of Yeung's guilty plea, his co-operation and his claim that the drugs were to ease his wife's pain.

He said the Appeal Court agreed with the trial judge, that the mitigation took Yeung out of the ordinary category of drug trafficker, and thought the discount did not fully reflect this.