Yishun drug abuser gets 10 years' jail, 16 strokes

PHOTO: The New Paper

He had just consumed morphine at a staircase landing on July 12 when the police approached him for suspicious behaviour.

Saravanan Gopal, 41, who still had some drugs in his possession, risked falling to his death that day just to get away from the officers.

He climbed out of a bedroom window of a friend's flat on the seventh storey of Block 431B, Yishun Avenue 1, and down some ledges into another unit directly below. Madam Suhadah Mohd Junadi and her family lived in the flat below.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Soo Tet said: "The accused shouted at Suhadah and her children to keep quiet and to co-operate with him as the police were after him."

The recalcitrant offender was jailed for 10 years and nine months yesterday after pleading guilty to one count each of housebreaking by night, drug trafficking and drug consumption.

Four drug-related charges and another housebreaking charge were taken into consideration.

Saravanan, who has been in and out of jail since 1999 for mainly drug offences, was also ordered to receive 16 strokes of the cane.

From Madam Suhadah's flat, Saravanan made his way down and entered another flat on the third storey, where he was arrested.

Officers took him to Ang Mo Kio Police Divisional Headquarters and he gave them two bottles of his urine samples. They were found to contain morphine.

His plastic bag that was seized by the officers was found to contain drugs - 0.14g of diamorphine.

In his mitigation, he told District Judge Liew Thiam Leng that he was very remorseful.

Saravanan, who was not represented by a lawyer, added that it would be the last time he would appear in court. He also promised to be a good husband, and a good father to his children.

For drug trafficking he could have been jailed up to 30 years and receive up to 15 strokes of the cane. For housebreaking, he could have been jailed up to three years and fined.

This article was first published on October 7, 2015.
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