Public Prosecutor v Liao Guo Kai

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeLoo Ngan Chor
Judgment Date08 October 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] SGDC 294
Citation[2008] SGDC 294
Publication Date09 December 2008
Plaintiff CounselDeputy Public Prosecutor Ng Der Lim
Defendant CounselDefence Counsel Jayakumar

08 October 2008

District Judge Loo Ngan Chor

Introduction:

1. The prosecution has appealed against the sentences I imposed on the accused.

2. The accused pleaded guilty before me to the following four charges involving:

(i) an offence under s7 read with s12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185) (“the Act”) punishable under s33 of the Act for engaging in a conspiracy on or about 10th January 2008 with one Koay Chin Liang (“Koay”) for Koay to import into Singapore 20 tablets containing 1.72 gms of ά-methyl-3,4 (methylenedioxy)phenethylamine, a Class A drug (“the first charge”);

(ii) an offence under s7 read with s12 and punishable under s33 of the Act for engaging in a conspiracy on or about 10th January 2008 with Koay, for Koay to import into Singapore 300 tablets of nimetazepam, a Class C drug (“the second charge”);

(iii) an offence under s9 punishable under s33 of the Act for having in his possession on 13th January 2008 a utensil, namely a paper roll, used in connection with the administration of a controlled drug and stained with methamphetamine, a controlled and specified drug (“the third charge”);

(iv) an offence under s8(b)(ii) of the Act that on 12th January 2008 he did consume methamphetamine, a controlled and specified drug (“the fourth charge”).

3. The accused consented to having four other charges taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing. Three of these charges spun off from the four charges proceeded on in that the drugs the subject of the first two charges also contained the drugs N, ά-dimethyl-3,4 (methylenedioxy) phenethylamine and ketamine (exhibit P4) and the paper roll the subject of the third charge was also stained with ketamine (exhibit P23(1)). An eighth charge was for consumption of nimetazepam.

4. The accused had initially claimed trial to four of the eight charges, which included the first and second charges. The accused changed his plea in the course of his counsel’s cross-examination of Koay.

5. I sentenced the accused as follows:

(a) five years and three months’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane for the first charge;

(b) three years and six months’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane for the second charge;

(c) three months’ imprisonment for the third charge;

(d) twelve months’ imprisonment for the fourth charge.

I ordered that the prison terms for the first and fourth charges run consecutively with the other two terms to run concurrently, with effect from the date of the accused’s commencement of remand on 14th January 2008, making a total sentence of six years and three months’ imprisonment and 10 strokes of the cane.

Prosecution’s Statement of Facts (“SOF”):

6. The accused admitted the SOF, which contained the information set out in this segment.

7. Koay, a Malaysian residing in Johor, had been dealt with for importation of controlled drugs into Singapore via the causeway. He had been arrested on 12th January 2008 at about 1.45 pm by officers of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (“ICA”) when controlled drugs were found secreted in the ferrings of his motorcycle.

8. The drugs recovered from Koay included one sachet containing 20 tablets of ecstasy (the first charge) and 30 slabs of 10 tablets each, totalling 300 tablets, of Erimin 5 (the second charge). (See exhibits PS1 and PS2, conditioned statements of the ICA arresting officers and photograph exhibits P5(5), (7) and (6) respectively, which were adduced at the trial prior to the accused’s change of plea.)

9. The drugs the subject of the first and second charges, as well as the third, fourth and seventh charges taken into consideration, against the accused involved the Erimin 5 and ecstasy.

10. Two days prior to his arrest, Koay had agreed with the accused over the telephone to import the Erimin 5 and ecstasy to be delivered to the accused at agreed prices. When Koay was arrested, he was on his way to deliver the drugs to the accused.

11. The quantities of the ecstasy and Erimin 5 were borne out by [8] to [10] of the SOF and the HSA certificate marked P4, and by [11] to [13] of the SOF and the HSA certificated marked P3, respectively.

12. In support of the third charge, [15] to [18] of the SOF and the HSA certificate marked P23(1), disclosed that a paper roll found in the accused’s flat upon his arrest was stained with methamphetamine.

13. [20] to [24] of the SOF and the HSA certificate marked 23(2) disclosed, in respect of the fourth charge, that the accused’s urine samples had been found to contain methamphetamine.

Further Facts:

14. In the course of the trial[note: i], the charges and notes of evidence in respect of Koay were tendered and collectively marked P12. Two charges (exhibits P12(1) and P12(4)) of importing were proceeded against Koay, corresponding to the first and second charges. Three charges were taken into consideration; two were importing charges (exhibits P12(2) and P12(3)) corresponding to the accused’s third and fourth charges taken into consideration.

15. One (exhibit P12(12)) was for importing one satchet of ice. The satchet of ice was intended for one Chua Eng Hwa (“Chua”), which was a delivery distinct from and not connected to the accused. Thus, when Koay was arrested at the customs checkpoint, he was in fact importing two sets of drugs, one intended for the accused and one for Chua.

16. Koay received sentences of five years and eight months’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane for the charge of importing ecstasy and three years and six months’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane for the charge of importing Erimin 5, with the sentences to run concurrently. Koay’s sentence therefore totalled five years and eight months’ imprisonment and 10 strokes of the cane[note: ii].

Antecedents:

17. The accused’s record of antecedents (exhibit P24) adduced by the prosecution showed that the accused had four driving-related offences in January 2007. Thus, the accused had no drug-related antecedents.

Mitigation:

18. Counsel made a plea in mitigation on the accused’s behalf. It was said that the accused was single, residing with aged parents and the sole care provider.

19. The accused had secondary education. Having served with the SAF for eight years, his service was terminated on account of stress and depression when medication did not seem to help. He had since been unemployed.

20. Unspecified prescription medicine was said to have led to the accused developing a craving for other and prohibited drugs. It was said that Koay had proposed supplying the accused drugs in December 2007 when they met at a pub.

21. The accused knew that Koay was a Malaysian and was coming into Singapore with the drugs. Notwithstanding that knowledge, the accused claimed that he did not know that...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT