Lai Sam-pang And Others v The Queen

Court:Court of Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:CACC1152/1979
Judgment Date:18 Apr 1980
CACC001152/1979 LAI SAM-PANG AND OTHERS v. THE QUEEN

CACC001152/1979

N THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG

(Appellate Jurisdiction)

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1152 OF 1979

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BETWEEN
LAI SAM-PANG Appellants
LAM MAN-BIU
NG SHIU-KEUNG
HO PUI-KAI
LEUNG HO-CHUEN
LEUNG HON-KEUNG

AND

THE QUEEN Respondent

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Coram: O'Connor, J.

Date of Judgment: 18 April 1980

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JUDGMENT

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1. These appeals are against convictions for attending a triad society meeting. Fung Wai-lung gave evidence of being present with the appellants at an initiation ceremony of the Ching Wah Sh'e triad society. The witness in his evidence gave details of the ceremony. The witness had a had character being a triad member and having a member of convictions including one for blackmail.

2. The learned magistrate in his findings states that although the evidence of the witness was uncorroborated, he relied upon it because it was given with such convincing detail that he felt that the witness could not have invented it. However, it was undisputed that the witness was himself a member of the Wo Hop To triad society. That being so he would have been in a position to give a detailed description of a triad ceremony. The learned magistrate did not advert to that possible source of the convincing detail.

3. There is another matter which renders this conviction unsafe and unsatisfactory. A fortnight after the witness Fung Wai-lung gave evidence in this case, he himself was convicted on his plea of guilty, of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The admitted facts were that he approached defendants in another criminal case in which he was to be a prosecution witness and offered not to turn up at the hearing date if they paid him $20,000.00. The evidence he was to have given in that case was in relation to the same triad initiation ceremony as is the subject matter of the present appeal.

4. Under these circumstances the conviction is unsafe and unsatisfactory and I allowed the appeal.

(R. O'Connor)
Judge of the High Court

Representation:

Mr. K-John Cheung (Raymond Tang & Co.) for 1st and 6th Appellants.

Mr. Ronald Mayne (D.L.A.) for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Appellants.

Mr. Joe Duffy, Senior Crown Counsel, for Crown/Respondent.

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