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SINGAPORE

Judicial CP - September 1980



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Straits Times, Singapore, 12 September 1980

Jail, cane for Aussie oil driller who pushed drugs

press cuttingAUSTRALIAN oil driller Barry John Gooch, 33, was sentenced yesterday to three years' jail and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane for drug trafficking.

Gooch, who works on an oil rig off Miri, Sarawak, was found guilty after a four-day trial for trafficking in 901.2g of cannabis at the arrival hall of Paya Lebar Airport on June 3.

Another charge of having 11.41g of cannabis was taken into consideration.

Defence counsel R. Pala Krishnan, assisted by Mr Charles Tan, gave notice of appeal.

The court was told that Gooch arrived from Bangkok with the drugs in the form of green vegetable matter wrapped in five packets in a PVC black bag, which were sniffed out by a narco dog.

When searched in the Customs office, Gooch was found with another small packet in a pocket.

Two nights

In his defence, Gooch said he bought the drugs for his own consumption and that he started smoking cannabis 12 years ago.

Gooch, who said he smoked between 8 and 12 rolls a day, intended to stay two nights in Singapore before going to Miri.

Customs prosecutor Tay Chng Yeow submitted that it was impossible for Gooch to smoke about 10g of cannabis a day without suffering severe intoxication.

That amount of drugs, said Mr Tay, could last for 23 years by local standards and not three months as claimed.

He submitted that Gooch's defence was an "afterthought".

Mr Krishnan's submission was that his client had raised a reasonable doubt on the totality of the evidence.

Gooch, he added, had taken cannabis to keep him off alcohol.

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