|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1997 : SG Judicial Nov 1997|
The New Paper, Singapore, 18 November 1997
Snatch! Snatch! Snatch! Then he met his match
By Woon Wui Tek
The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 20 November 1997
Singapore caning ruling concerns NZ officials
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are pondering yesterday's Singapore court ruling that a New Zealand man can be caned on his bare buttocks for overstaying.
David William Peden, 31, was sentenced to 12 months jail after pleading guilty to drug consumption and overstaying. His jail term was back-dated to October 29, the day he was taken into custody.
He was given three months jail and three cuts of the rattan for overstaying, and a year's jail on the drugs charge, to be served concurrently.
Foreign Affairs has yet to decide what stance to take over the caning.
"We are aware of the sentence, we are giving it careful consideration," ministry spokesman James Funnell said.
Ministry reaction would be channelled through the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore in due course.
"That's obviously in relation to the caning," he said.
Caning is a punishment Singapore applies in a number of crimes. The island republic drew international attention in 1994 when American Michael Fay, then 18, received four strokes of a rattan cane on his bare buttocks for spray-painting cars and other offences.
He was originally sentenced to six strokes but that was reduced to four after United States President Bill Clinton criticised the punishment as extreme. Peden told the court he was sorry for what he had done.
His urine tested positive for a morphine-related drug after a Singaporean police drugs raid last month.
He was also found to have been in Singapore without legal permission for about two years. Peden said he had not overstayed looking for work, as charged. He was about to marry a Singaporean woman.
He formerly served with the New Zealand armed forces in Singapore, but had not been with the army for some time. Drug consumption was punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $S20,000 ($NZ20,440). Overstaying was punishable by up to six months in jail and three strokes of the cane. Women and people over 50 are not caned. High Commission consular officer Glenda King said Peden knew caning was mandatory. Peden had asked that they visit him in jail, which they would do after getting permission.
The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 November 1997
Kiwi will not appeal caning
Jailed New Zealander David Peden, to be rotan caned in Singapore for overstaying, has indicated he will not appeal his sentences.
Peden, 31, was this week sentenced to 12 months jail after pleading guilty to drug consumption and overstaying in Singapore island city. His jail term was back-dated to October 29, the day he was taken into custody.
He was sentenced to three months jail and three cuts of the rotan (cane) to his bare buttocks for overstaying and 12 months jail on the drugs charge, with the terms to be served concurrently.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Peden had indicated to High Commission staff he would not appeal.
Foreign Affairs had asked authorities in Singapore when the caning would take place, and where Peden would be jailed. The caning would not be done until a doctor had declared Peden medically fit.
Consular staff were discussing with prison authorities when they could next see Peden, an ex-serviceman.
Follow-up: 12 December 1997 - New Zealand Man Caned in Singapore
THE ARCHIVE index
About this website
Country files: Singapore
www.corpun.com Main menu page
Copyright © C. Farrell 1998, 2004
Page updated: May 2004