Aw Wee Lee and Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeCarol Ling Feng Yong
Judgment Date07 September 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 35
Citation[2001] SGMC 35
Published date19 September 2003

Judgment:

GROUNDS OF DECISION

Plea

1. The Accused person, pleaded guilty to 2 charges under the Films Act, Cap 107. The first charge (PS 2120/01) was one of attempting to distribute a total of 138 films which were without a valid certificate from the Board of Film Censors, an offence under section 21(1)(b) of the Films Act. The second offence (PS 2121/01) was one of conducting a business of distributing films without a valid licence, an offence under section 6(1) (a) of the Films Act.

Facts

2. On 9 March 2001, the police raided "Edward Music House" at No 100 Beach Road, #03-33. Therein, jackets of video compact discs ("VCDs") which were on display in the shop were seized for investigations. 3. The VCDs were sent to the Board of Film Censors for examination and they were subsequently found to be a total of 249 VCDs which contained 138 fims which were uncensored and uncertificated. The Board of Film Censors also confirmed that the accused did not have any licence to distribute the films.

4. The accused person pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted to the Statement of Facts without qualification.

Antecedents

5. Accused had a similar conviction. He had been previously convicted on 19 June 2001 of possessing uncensored films, an offence under section 21(1)(a) of the Films Act. He was fined a total of $7800.

Mitigation

6. Accused tendered a written mitigation, initially stating that the VCDs in his shop were for his own use rather than for sale. When queried by the Court, the accused then admitted that he had attempted to distribute the 138 films as stated in the charge. He then went on to amend his mitigation.

7. In his written mitigation, the accused person essentially pleaded for leniency, stating that he has not been selling VCDs anymore and that his business had been affected by the economic recession.

Sentence

8. The offence under section 6(1)(a) of the Films Act is puniouses Act provides for a fine up to $5000 or to imprisonment up to 6 months, or both.

9. There was nothing particularly significant about the facts of this case. What was outstanding was the accused person's antecedents. Her fines increased with every court conviction and in 1996, she served a 2-week jail term coupled with a $1,000 fine for gaming in a common gaming house. She failed to pay...

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