The daughter of two retired high-ranking police officers was yesterday found guilty of possessing a dangerous drug and fined HK$10,000 (US$1,274).
Sheryl Teresa Deakin was 19-years-old when she was arrested in Sheung Shui by two police officers on July 5 last year for carrying two bags of cannabis weighing almost 9 grams.
At the time of her arrest, she reportedly told officers “I don’t want my mom to know” and claimed the bags of marijuana were given to her by a friend.
Deakin, now aged 20 and a computer science student at Northeastern University in the US, pleaded not guilty to the one count of possession of a dangerous drug at Fanling Magistrates Court, Ming Pao reports.
The newspaper reports Deakin told the court that the cannabis was placed in her handbag by two of her male friends. She said that following the arrest, she returned to the US because she wanted to put the incident behind her.
She also told the court that she was shouted at by a sergeant during the interrogation after her arrest, and that police ignored her when she signed on a witness confession: “I do not agree with the record of accounts above.”
The magistrate did not buy Deakin’s accounts of events, calling her an unreliable witness, saying the she made no effort to contact the two friends who allegedly put the weed in her bag, and that witness testimony from three police officers had proved the prosecution’s case beyond reasonable doubt.
In mitigation, Deakin’s lawyer told the court his client was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder three years ago.
However, the magistrate decided to spare Deakin of prison time saying it was her first conviction and, given her good background, a HK$10,000 fine was more appropriate than a custodial sentence.
Ming Pao reported that Deakin was crying as the magistrate handed out the fine.
The defendant’s parents are former senior superintendent Tony Deakin, and former chief superintendent Evelyn Lam Man-sai.