UK ex-headmaster jailed in Singapore drug case

SINGAPORE (AFP) – A British former headmaster of an international school in China has been jailed for 10 months in Singapore after admitting possession and consumption of methamphetamine, officials said yesterday.

Damien Michael Charnock used to be the head of Dulwich College Shanghai, a branch of the exclusive London private school.

Police arrested the 60-year-old in March at an apartment in the city-state and discovered bags containing the drug and a glass contraption for smoking it, according to court documents.

The case has echoes of hit American TV show ‘Breaking Bad’, which tells the story of a chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer and turns to making meth to raise money to secure his family’s future. Charnock pleaded guilty to three drug charges, and the attorney-general’s chambers confirmed he was jailed last Friday.

His offences represented “a precipitous fall from grace”, Defence Lawyer Remy Choo was cited as saying by Singapore news outlet CNA. “His life’s work as a talented and immensely devoted educator lies in tatters.”He had been smoking crystal meth since 2017 and was employed as a curriculum developer at the time of the offences, the court documents said, without mentioning who his employer was.

Singapore punishes consumption of methamphetamine with a jail term of up to 10 years, and a fine of up to SGD20,000.