Monday, January 3, 2011

[PHOTO] Underwear Stealer Leonard Lim Yoong Xiang Caught in Action at Mustafa Centre

WHILE high on drugs, he decided to stock up on underwear.

He then walked into Mustafa Centre and stuffed extra sets of boxer shorts into boxes containing the undergarments.

He also took other items.

So instead of paying $138.10 for the items, he paid the cashier $68.50 instead.

A sharp-eyed security guard caught Leonard Lim Yoong Xiang, 26, as the undergraduate was leaving the shopping centre.

Yesterday, Lim was given three years’ probation for one count each of cheating, drug possession and drug consumption. Another charge of drug possession was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that at around 1.50am on Dec 27, 2009, Lim emptied four boxes, each containing a pair of boxer shorts. He then stuffed these four pairs into four other boxes so that they contained two pairs each.

Then, he emptied a packet containing two singlets and a packet containing a T-shirt and put the singlets into the T-shirt packet.

Cannabis found

In remand at the police lock-up, he was found to have a ziplock packet containing 0.35g of cannabis.

Tests also showed traces of cannabis in his urine. He admitted to having consumed the drug when he was under stress during his university examination period in Australia.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, a person can be convicted of drug consumption even if the drugs had been taken overseas. When he was caught, Lim was back in Singapore on holidays.

In his mitigation, his lawyer, Mr Josephus Tan, said that Dr Lim Boon Leng, an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist, had diagnosed his client as suffering from a major depressive episode at the time of the incident.

Dr Tommy Tan, a private psychiatrist, also diagnosed Lim as suffering from a major depressive disorder. It was caused by stress after Lim could not find a job, despite graduating from the Singapore Management University (SMU) with a degree in information systems management in 2008. He had anxiety and panic attacks and was prescribed sleeping pills by his family doctor.

In July 2009, Lim, a certified divemaster, decided to pursue his passion in marine biology at James Cook University in Australia.

But he remained depressed, became homesick and was conscious of his accent.

The court was told that Lim felt depressed and lonely on the night of his crime.

He felt insecure about his American girlfriend, who was back home and lived near her ex-boyfriend. His 17-year-old dog had also died recently.

Unable to sleep, he went for a drive and found himself in Geylang. He claimed that as he wandered into a lane, a drug peddler offered him drugs.

He paid $20 for the cannabis and three Erimin-5 pills. Erimin-5 is a sedative which has hypnotic properties.

Lim took one of the pills and went to Mustafa Centre, where he suddenly recalled that he needed underwear.

The court heard that Lim had never consumed Erimin-5 before, but had smoked cannabis three times in Australia as the drug is easily available there.

First time

The first time he tried cannabis was after his exams in November 2009. He said he felt compelled to try it as he was with friends who were sharing a joint.

The second time was at a classmate’s birthday party where he took a single puff.

Finally, before he returned to Singapore, he took a few puffs when a friend offered it to him.

The court heard that Lim felt temporary relief from his anxiety and depression when he took cannabis. So when he was offered the drug here, he bought it without thinking of the consequences.

For cheating, he could have been jailed three years and fined.

For drug possession, he could have been jailed 10 years and fined $20,000.

For drug consumption, he could have been jailed 10 years and fined $20,000.

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