Pereira Denise Esther v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeMay Lucia Mesenas
Judgment Date15 May 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 25
Citation[2001] SGMC 25
Published date19 September 2003

JUDGMENT:

Grounds of Decision

1. On 10 January 2001, the Accused pleaded guilty to the following charge:

Charge (Exhibit P1)

"You, Pereira Denise Esther (hereinafter referred to as the Accused), F/15 years, NRIC No: S8537506G are charged that you, on or before the 13th day of October 2000, in Singapore, did consume a controlled drug as specified in Class A of the First Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 185, to wit, N,a -Dimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine, without authorisation under the said Act or the Regulations made thereunder and you have thereby committed an offence under section 8(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 185 and punishable under section 33 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 185."

2. The Accused admitted to the Statement of Facts (Exhibit A) without qualification, the salient points are as follows:

a. On 13 October 2000 at about 5.09am, the Accused was arrested by police officers along Jalan Molek, in front of Jade Hotel, on suspicion for drug consumption. She was brought to Geylang Police Division wherein her urine samples were obtained and thereafter sent to the Department of Scientific Services (DSS) on the same day for analysis.

b. On 24 and 25 October 2000, two chemist certificates, bearing Lab Nos. N2-2000-05892-006 and N2-2000-05892-003 respectively were issued by the DSS, stating that the urine specimens obtained from the Accused were found to contain a Class "A" controlled drug, namely, N,a -Dimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine, (commonly known as Ecstasy), as listed in the First Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act Cap 185.

3. Accordingly, the Court found her guilty of the charge on 10 January 2001. The Accused is a first time offender, who claimed that she was prepared to change and that she wanted to go back to school. On her behalf, the Accuseds mother urged the court to give the Accused one last chance and the reason why she discharged her counsel was so that she could have stricter control over her daughter. She also claimed that the Accused had to report back to her once she comes back home from school. Further, she added that she was separated from her husband and was therefore the sole breadwinner of the family. The Accused was released on bail to the care of her mother. The matter was adjourned to 13 February 2001 for the pre-sentence report on the Accused to be prepared.

4. On 13 February 2001, the Accuseds father was present in court. He made an application for a supplementary report to be put up by the probation officer as he was not given the opportunity to be interviewed, having been released on bail for drug-related charges the week before. The case was consequently adjourned to 21 February 2001 for the supplementary report to be prepared as well as for a Family Conference to be convened on the same day.

Pre-Sentence Report

5. Miss Ilyana Saat, the Probation Officer assessed that the Accused was not suitable for probation, having considered the following risk factors as well as the Accuseds needs:

a. The ineffective supervision rendered by the Accuseds parents and their lackadaisical attitude towards the Accuseds bad behaviour;

b. The Accuseds past conduct and behaviour in school which had deteriorated since 1998;

c. The Accuseds association with negative peers; and

d. The Accuseds own lackadaisical attitude in her conduct pending sentence.

The Courts Decision

6. Section 28 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Cap 38) enjoins every court dealing with persons under the age of 16 to "have regard to the welfare of the child or young person" and to take proper steps to remove such persons from his undesirable surroundings as well as secure proper provision for his education and training.

7. Unlike the adult courts, the Juvenile Court, in sentencing the young offender, does more than impose the sentence to commensurate with the gravity of the offence. It must be emphasised that the basic premise upon which the Juvenile Court decides, is how the young offender can be reformed and be re-intergrated back into society. In order to impose the appropriate sentence on the young offender for his effective rehabilitation, the Juvenile Court has to be acutely aware of the...

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