Hwa Chong Institution teacher from Britain faces drug charges

Briton Christopher David Burge is accused of attempting to possess five packets of a crystalline substance between Sept 14 and 19 last year. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) teacher appeared in court on Friday (Jan 4) to face drug-related charges, including methamphetamine consumption.

Briton Christopher David Burge, 65, was first charged on Sept 22 last year.

The humanities tutor is accused of attempting to possess five packets of a crystalline substance between Sept 14 and 19 last year. These were later found to contain at least 3.6g of methamphetamine.

The humanities teacher is also accused of consuming the drug on Sept 20 last year.

He was allegedly found with drug paraphernalia including a glass apparatus with a straw and a pipe attached in Linden Drive near Eng Neo Avenue at around 11.20pm that day.

Burge is also said to have in his possession at least 6.12g of a vegetable matter which was analysed and found to contain 5-Fluoro-MDMB-PINACA - a substance found in synthetic cannabinoids.

On Friday, the court heard that it will take four more weeks to prepare his medical report.

Burge is not the first teacher to be in the news for drug-related offences.

Last year, Khairul Naim Mohamad Nasir, then 20, was sentenced to probation of two years and three months after buying methamphetamine for his secondary school teacher, Celesta Ee Qiying.

The court heard that she had confided in him in 2016 about her methamphetamine consumption. She also told Khairul her supplier was charging too much for the drug.

She later gave him $200 to buy methamphetamine, also known as Ice. The outcome of Ee's case was not mentioned in court documents.

As for Burge, he is now out on bail of $10,000 and will be back in court on Feb 1.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, HCI said that Burge has been suspended since September last year.

"As the matter is before the courts, we are unable to provide further details," a school spokesman added.

Offenders convicted of methamphetamine consumption can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000.

Those convicted of being in possession of drug paraphernalia can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000.

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