R v Cheng [2017] NZDC 25688

Published 12 October 2018

Importing methamphetamine — importation of drugs — sentencing — drugs — R v Fatu [2006] 2 NZLR 72 (CA). The defendant was sentenced having imported, on five separate occasions, methamphetamine weighing 8.524 kg with his co-offender. The defendant's role in the operation was described as being the "catcher". The court took a starting point of 15 years' imprisonment with reference to the decision of "Fatu" and taking into account the harm done by methamphetamine in the community, the need to denounce the offending and the seriousness of the charge. Discounts were given to reflect the difficulty the defendant would have in prison as a foreigner in a New Zealand prison, his remorse, the fact that he did not come to New Zealand with the sole intention of importing methamphetamine, full co-operation with police and his guilty pleas. The defendant was sentenced to nine years and 11 months' imprisonment with a minimum non parole period of 50 per cent.