Man jailed for drugs and HIV offences
The authorities called him multiple times, telling him that his sexual partners had been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and advised him to go for a check-up.
But the Singapore permanent resident (PR) ignored them because he was afraid to lose his PR status. He continued to have unprotected sex. The 35-year-old Malaysian freelance hairdresser and fashion designer cannot be named due to a gag order.
Yesterday, he was jailed for 42 months after pleading guilty to three drug charges and two charges under the Infectious Diseases Act .
Another four similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
He tested positive for HIV on Feb 13, 2017.
From 2003, he engaged in sexual activities about once a week. After 2008, he stopped going for HIV testing out of fear of losing his PR status.
The court was told that he had sex with up to six partners who were found to be HIV-positive after their encounters with him.
The accused met at least one of his victims through a gay dating app in 2013.
Prosecuting officer Andre Moses Tan Chang Ann told the court that the man did not answer when one of the victims asked him when he last went for a check-up.
The National Public Health Unit (NPHU) of the Ministry of Health also called him at least three times from 2010 to 2015.
In January 2015, the NPHU called again to inform him of the risk he posed to others by having unprotected sex. It tried calling him about five times after that, but he stopped answering the calls.
The man also admitted to consuming the drug methamphetamine, also known by its street name Ice.
He was arrested by Central Narcotics Bureau officers on March 19 last year, and his urine tested positive for the drug.
The officers also seized drug paraphernalia from his rented apartment.
While he was out on bail, he again consumed Ice and was arrested again on April 2 this year.
He admitted to having consumed Ice on five occasions in March in the home of a man he had met through the dating app.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Lian-Yi, who handled the drug charges, said the accused was not young and was a habitual drug user with his own dealer.
In mitigation, defence lawyer James Ow Yong said his client had no prior convictions and had not intended to transmit HIV.
Arguing that his client having to live with HIV for the rest of his life would serve as a great deterrent, Mr Ow Yong asked for a sentence of not more than 35 months' jail.
District Judge Christopher Goh imposed a 42-month sentence, saying that he found it difficult to justify the lower sentence.
For each count of having sexual activity with another person despite having reason to believe he has HIV but not informing them of the risk, or undergoing the necessary tests, or taking reasonable precautions, the accused could have been jailed for up to 10 years, or fined up to $50,000, or both.