Student gets six months' jail over cannabis charges

A final-year economics student has been sentenced to six months' jail for drug offences.

Dexter Foo Shou Han, 24, admitted on Friday to taking a cannabinol derivative at his Springside Drive home in Sembawang on May 28 last year, as well as having a packet of at least 5.11g of cannabis in his possession the next day.

Acting on a tip-off, a party of Central Narcotics Bureau officers arrested Foo at his house on May 29 last year.

A grinder, an improvised smoking apparatus and a green metal container containing four packets of vegetable matter were seized.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Soo Tet said that Foo had been consuming cannabis in Singapore since mid-2012.

He would either consume cannabis on his own or with his friends.

In May last year, he took drugs in Amsterdam, Holland, with his friend, Trevor Soh Li Wen, 24, during a holiday trip in Europe.

He had bought his supply of cannabis through a supplier with the help of a friend, Damian Ng Yanhan, 24, whose case is pending.

Sometime in April, both Foo and Soh arranged with Ng to buy cannabis from the latter's supplier, known as "Bryan'', at Lagoon View condominium.

Foo paid Ng a sum of money representing his and Soh's payment for the cannabis. Foo subsequently passed Soh his share of the drugs.

Soh was jailed six months in October last year for taking drugs in Amsterdam and having cannabis in his possession.

Foo's lawyer Anand Nalachandran said his client had attention deficit disorder (ADD) which went undiagnosed.

He said after this incident, his client voluntarily went for urine tests regularly and saw a private psychiatrist.

His client had shown a certain degree of rehabilitation and deserves a chance, being a young offender, the lawyer added.

DPP Tan said ADD is not an impulse control disorder and has no impact on Foo's judgment. He knew what he was doing and that it was wrong, the DPP added.

District Judge Salina Ishak said she had to send a strong signal to young adults that the consumption of cannabis on a recreational basis is something that the court will not accept or tolerate.

Foo, who will start his jail term on Feb 15, could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000 per charge.

This article was first published on Feb 1, 2016.
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