Lee Yuen Yau v The Queen

Court:Court of Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:CACC440/1974
Judgment Date:26 Jul 1974
CACC000440/1974 LEE YUEN YAU v. THE QUEEN

CACC000440/1974

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG

(APPELLATE JURISDICTION)

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 440 OF 1974

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BETWEEN
LEE YUEN YAU Appellant
and
THE QUEEN Respondent

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Coram: Huggins, J.

Date of Judgment: 26th July 1974.

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JUDGMENT

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1. I have come to the conclusion that this conviction cannot stand and that there must be a new trial. It is unnecessary to say more than that the learned magistrate regarded the evidence of Mr. Robert Poon, one of the defence witnesses, as "of little value because he did not follow the cars along Yuen Long Main Road after passing the roundabout". The Appellant asserts that that was a misunderstanding of the evidence of Mr. Poon. Unfortunately Mr. Poon's evidence on this point was ambiguous. No doubt the learned magistrate relied upon the statements (one of which was incorrectly transcribed in the typed record)

"I only followed colleague's car [in] Ma Mui Road. I was not following it later".

Even that, however, was ambiguous. It appears to be agreed that Ma Mui Road is comparatively narrow and does not allow two lanes of traffic in each direction: Yuen Long Main Road does. The witness also said:

"I followed [the Appellant's] car onto the roundabout. It turned left to Yuen Long. It was in inner lane. I was in outer lane. Honda in front of me - some uniformed police inside it. They were doing about 20 m.p.h. I was about 25 yards behind them".

The witness was not asked what he meant by "they" and "them". It is common ground that the Honda was in Yuen Long Main Road. It may have been "in front of" the witness only as it negotiated the roundabout, but I think it at least possible that the witness meant he was "following" the Honda, in the outer lane of Yuen Long Main Road, whilst the Appellant was in the inner lane. It is true that he went on to say:

"Colleague's car was in front of police car",

but that is not conclusive because the whole basis of the complaint against the Appellant is that he pulled out into the outer lane in front of the Honda.

2. The evidence of Mr. Poon supported the Appellant's defence and it is impossible to say what verdict the learned magistrate would have reached had he found that the witness was travelling along Yuen Long Main Road in a position where he...

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