Siu Kwok To v R.

CourtCourt of Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date12 Apr 1994
Judgement NumberCACC628/1993
SubjectCriminal Appeal
CACC000628/1993 SIU KWOK TO v. R.

CACC000628/1993

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

1993, No. 628
(Criminal)

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BETWEEN
THE QUEEN
AND
SIU KWOK TO

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Coram: Hon Silke, V.-P., Litton, J.A. and Ryan, J.

Date of hearing: 12 April 1994

Date of judgment: 12 April 1994

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J U D G M E N T

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Litton, J.A. giving the judgment of the court:

1. This is Siu Kwok-to's application for leave to appeal against his conviction by His Honour Deputy Judge Gill, (as he then was), in the District Court on 30 September 1993 on one charge of handling stolen goods, for which he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. The charge, brought under section 24(1) and (2) of the Theft Ordinance, was that, between April and June 1992, the applicant, together with persons unknown, dishonestly assisted in the disposal of a Mercedes-Benz private car knowing or believing the same to be stolen.

Background facts

2. The background facts were straight-forward. (1) The applicant was the proprietor of Man Wai garage located at Chai Wan. The business was mainly to buy and sell cars and to spray paint customers' cars. The applicant had been in the garage business for about five years and was a car enthusiast. (2) In June 1992 he sold to a Mr. Wu a Mercedes Benz 280SE 1984 model which was metallic brown with beige upholstery. A Mercedes Benz 280SE has a fuel injection engine and a logo 280SE on the boot. (3) When this car was later examined by the police with the help of forensic experts, the following things were discovered: the car was originally metallic blue-green in colour and had been resprayed; the chassis number had been altered by cutting and welding and the original engine number had been obliterated and restamped. (4) This car had been stolen from a carpark in April 1992.

3. Given these facts it is not surprising that suspicion fell on the applicant. He had handled stolen goods. It was he who sold the car to Mr. Wu. The only issue at the trial was whether he knew that it was stolen. Obviously the most relevant question was: How did the applicant come to have in his possession this stolen car disguised in this way? The police cannot reasonably be expected to have the answer to this question. The only person who could supply the answer was the person who sold the car - the applicant himself.

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