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Lawyer jailed 21 months for consumption of meth

Lawyer jailed 21 months for consumption of meth

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 13 Oct 2020
Author: Cheryl Teh

Mark Tan Teik Yu pleaded guilty in August to one count of meth consumption, and also admitted to being in possession of meth, drug paraphernalia, as well as Erimin-5 tablets.

A lawyer was sentenced to 21 months' jail yesterday for consuming methamphetamine, or Ice. He was caught in possession of the drug at Woodlands Checkpoint in March 2018.

Mark Tan Teik Yu, 42, had pleaded guilty in a district court on Aug 17 this year to one count of meth consumption.

He had also admitted to being in possession of meth, various drug paraphernalia, as well as nimetazepam, or Erimin-5, tablets.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur said she took into consideration several mitigating factors, including psychological assessments indicating that Tan was suffering from major depressive disorder.

This mental health condition was further aggravated by high levels of stress due to his financial situation, and being fired from the law firm where he worked.

Tan's depression then worsened when he discovered that his then wife was having an affair.

District Judge Kaur noted that Tan had initially turned to alcohol for relief, before he was introduced to meth in 2012.

"The accused was a high-functioning, mature individual before his first contact with drugs. His consumption of methamphetamine was an ill-judged effort to stop his emotional spiral, with his major depressive disorder making him less likely to think critically," she said.

The court had earlier heard that Tan was in Malaysia on March 17, 2018, when one of his friends in Singapore - Iman Hakiki Azhari - contacted him. Deputy Public Prosecutors Ivan Chua and Yee Jia Rong stated in court documents that Iman and Tan had been friends since 2010. From 2012, the pair occasionally consumed meth and nimetazepam together.

The day that Tan was caught, Iman had texted him to ask him to buy a box of 100 Erimin-5 pills.

Tan agreed to do so for $750 and bought the drugs in Malaysia from a contact known only as "DC". While at DC's home, Tan consumed meth, the court heard.

When he arrived at Woodlands Checkpoint at around 10.45pm, an Aetos security officer checked his car and found a pouch containing drug paraphernalia such as a glass tube. An Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) task force officer then found drug utensils such as four coloured straws and a rubber tube, some pills containing nimetazepam, and crystalline substances containing meth.

Tan's urine sample was taken and it tested positive for meth.

He claimed he had consumed the drug to feel "alert and awake" while driving back to Singapore.

Central Narcotics Bureau officers raided Tan's home around 6am the next day and found more crystalline substances containing meth in a drawer of a bedside table.

District Judge Kaur said further mitigating factors were also taken into consideration in Tan's sentencing. This included the "sincere efforts" that Tan has since made in his treatment, including his active participation in recovery support groups, and his low odds of reoffending or relapsing.

The judge added that she had also taken into consideration the fact that the quantity of Ice that Tan possessed was "relatively small", and that the drugs were meant only for his consumption.

After his sentencing, Tan was seen crying before he left the courtroom and embraced his family. He will begin serving his jail term next Monday. His bail is set at $20,000.

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

The Law Society said it will study the charges, statement of facts and the mitigation plea tendered for Tan. "If there is any breach of the professional conduct rules, the Law Society will consider the appropriate action to take."

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.


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