SINGAPORE - A district court heard that a former student, who was given a probation sentence for drug-related offences on Tuesday (July 24), had bought methamphetamine for his secondary school teacher.
Khairul Naim Mohamad Nasir, now 20, was sentenced to probation of two years and three months after pleading guilty in January to one count each of methamphetamine trafficking and cannabis consumption.
In mitigation, his lawyer Anil Balchandani had earlier told the court that in 2016, Khairul's ECA (extra-curricular activities) teacher from Meridian Secondary School, Celesta Ee Qiying, confided in him about her methamphetamine consumption.
"Celesta mentioned that her supplier was charging her too high a price," Mr Balchandani said. On hearing this, Khairul told her he would help her find a cheaper supplier. After he found a supplier in Geylang, Ms Ee gave him $200 to buy methamphetamine, also known as Ice.
Mr Balchandani told District Judge May Mesenas that on the three to five occasions that Khairul bought drugs in Geylang, he would wait until the supplier appeared because he did not have the latter's contact number.
"Khairul never sold Celesta methamphetamine. He only purchased on behalf of Celesta with the money provided by Celesta," the lawyer said.
The outcome of Ms Ee's case was not mentioned in court documents.
Khairul was caught on Aug 29 last year during a spot check by Central Narcotics Bureau officers. They took him back to his home where they seized items, including a packet containing what was later found to be about one gram of methamphetamine.
Investigations showed that Khairul had bought methamphetamine with $350 given to him by a customer, who was not named in court documents.
The court was also told that traces of cannabis had been found in Khairul's urine samples.
On Tuesday, Judge Mesenas said that as part of his probation, Khairul would have to stay in a hostel for nine months.
His mother posted a bond of $5,000 to ensure his good behaviour. He must also undergo drug intervention programmes and perform 210 hours of community service.
For trafficking methamphetamine, Khairul could have been jailed for between five and 20 years, and receive five to 15 strokes of the cane.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) told The Straits Times on Wednesday that after it was informed of the investigations, it suspended Ms Ee from duty in September last year so that she had no contact with the school. She has since been dismissed from service.
Said a ministry spokesman: "Teachers are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which upholds the integrity of the profession and the trust placed in them.
"MOE takes a very serious view of misconduct by teachers. Teachers who fail to comply with our standards of conduct and discipline will be subjected to disciplinary action, including dismissal from service - which was precisely the outcome here."