Singapore—The former head of elite Dulwich College Shanghai could possibly be jailed in Singapore for 50 years due to multiple drug charges.
Sixty-year-old Damien Michael Charnock, who used to be the headmaster of the branch of the exclusive UK-based school, appeared in court in Singapore on July 23, Tuesday. Mr Charnock has been charged with consumption and possession of methamphetamine, also known as Ice, and MDMA, also known as ecstasy, in March.
The former headmaster is facing five charges, including possession of packets of methamphetamine and ecstasy tablets, as well as related drug paraphernalia, in a flat in Singapore, at the at the Goodwood Grand condominium in Balmoral Road.
According to the Straits Times (ST), Mr Charnock had 11 packets of a crystalline substance in his possession. These packets were later revealed to contain 3.11 g of methamphetamine. He also had at least seven tablets of MDMA.
Mr Charnock allegedly committed the offenses on March 5 of this year.
For every single charge of drug consumption, Mr Charnock could go to jail for as many as 10 years, and be made to pay a fine of S$20,000.
Why the former headmaster was in the country during the time he was arrested is unclear.
Mr Charnock, who worked as a headmaster at the Wilson’s school in London for many years, was appointed to head Dulwich College Shanghai in 2014. He said in an interview a few years ago that he had grown up in Malaysia, as his parents had lived there for many years
Founded around 400 years ago, the school has multiple branches in Asian countries, including those in Singapore, South Korea, and China. Dulwich College is one of the oldest independent schools in the United Kingdom.
The ST reports that he has never been employed at the college Singapore branch, however.
Mr Charnock was offered bail of S$10,000 and will be back in court on August 20. He is represented by his lawyer, Gloria James-Civetta.
There are reports from the media in the UK comparing Mr Charnock to Walter White, the lead character of the popular TV show from some years ago, “Breaking Bad.”
The US-based TV series that lasted several years featured a chemistry teacher who had been diagnosed with cancer but ended up making methamphetamine in home laboratories so that he could provide for the future of his wife and son.
According to the website of Dulwich College Shanghai, the school “was the first in the Dulwich College International family of schools, opening in 2003 in the Jinqiao District of Pudong. Since opening its doors with just 23 students, the College now educates approximately 1500 students from age 2 to age 18, with over forty different nationalities represented in our diverse student body.
Our links to Dulwich College, founded in 1619, are strong, and we collaborate closely with the other schools in the network to encourage an international outlook and create an extended community where academic ability is fostered, creativity is valued, and diversity is celebrated.
In 2016, we welcomed our second campus Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi in the Minhang District of Puxi.”/ TISG