GEORGE TOWN: An unemployed man was jailed 10 years and ordered to be whipped 10 times by a High Court here after he pleaded guilty to an alternate charge of drug possession.
Yeoh Lin Zheng, 24, admitted possessing 77.87gm of methamphetamine at a petrol kiosk in Lebuh Raya Thean Teik, Bandar Baru Air Itam, at 10.30pm on Dec 5, 2014.
He was jointly charged with salesman Yeong Khar Choon, 23, who claimed trial to the alternate offence under Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 punishable under Section 39A(2) of the same act.
The two friends were originally jointly charged with trafficking which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.
Both accused were also found to be in possession of 2.51gm of Nimetazepam at the same time and place.
They admitted to the offence which carries a fine of not more than RM100,000 or a jail sentence of up to five years, or both.
According to the facts of the case, a police team raided the two friendsâ€™ vehicle while they were at the petrol kiosk.
They were detained after a black cloth bag was found in the car. Inside the bag were a small plastic packet suspected to contain syabu and 50 pieces of aluminium foil with 10 pills each which were suspected to be Eramine 5.
In mitigation, counsel Hussaini Abdul Rashid, who acted for Yeoh, said this was his first offence.
â€œWe appeal for the lowest sentence possible and for the two charges to run concurrently from his date of arrest on Dec 5, 2014, in consideration of his youth.â€
Representing Yeong was lawyer Chris Kooi who said Yeong was also a first-time offender who wished to turn over a new leaf.
DPP Emma Syafawati Abdul Wahab said public interest should be given priority.
â€œBeing young is not an excuse to be involved in drug offences. A suitable punishment should be meted out as a lesson for the accused.â€
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azmi Ariffin in his judgement agreed that public interest should be given priority, adding that the court also took into consideration that both the accused were young.
â€œI hope they will not be involved in such activities again when they are out of jail,â€ he said.