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Composer Don Spike gets suspended sentence for meth abuse

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Jan. 9, 2023 - 14:01

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Don Spike is seen appearing for a court hearing held in September at the Seoul Northern District Court. (Yonhap) Don Spike is seen appearing for a court hearing held in September at the Seoul Northern District Court. (Yonhap)

K-pop composer Kim Min-su, better known by his stage name Don Spike, was handed a three-year suspended jail sentence on Monday for buying 45 million-won ($36,100) worth of methamphetamine and abusing it for recreational purposes for at least 14 times.

The Seoul Northern District Court ordered the 45-year-old to serve five years of probation and 80 hours of drug awareness classes for treatment. He was also given 120 hours of community service, and some 40 million won in penalty charges.

The lighter sentence, compared with the five-year term sought by the prosecution, was given as Kim had admitted his crime in the early stage of court proceedings, and petitions were presented by Kim's family and people close to him, the court said in a statement.

"The defendant had purchased over 100 grams of methamphetamine and induced multiple people into abusing the drug, weighing on the gravity of the offenses," read the statement.

"But the solidarity shown by his family and people close to him has been taken into consideration (in the ruling) as it could prevent repeated criminal offenses."

Under Korean law, those who own, produce or abuse drugs worth at least 5 million won or less than 50 million won are punishable by at least three years in prison. Possessing more than 50 million won of drugs carries a harsher punishment of at least seven years in jail.

Kim bought drugs worth a combined 45 million won since late 2021, and abused the drug for 14 times, sometimes with other people. Kim was caught in September while under the influence of drugs in a hotel in the Gangnam neighborhood. Police also found 30 g of methamphetamine at the scene.

He admitted to the drug abuse before the press when he was detained. Kim pleaded guilty in a December court trial.

This was not the first time Kim was convicted of drug abuse. He was fined 5 million won for cannabis abuse in 2010.

Kim has composed and arranged a number of K-pop songs for musicians including boy band EXO. He also ran the barbecue restaurant Low & Slow.

Korea in 2021 confiscated smuggled drugs worth a combined 449.9 billion won, up threefold compared with 2020, according to an estimate by customs authorities presented by the Democratic Party of Korea Rep. Kang Jun-hyeon.