About the court case

Leon Russel Francis, 22, a convicted drug offender, was originally jailed eight months but got a two-year probationary sentence on appeal.

He had been suffering from a genetic disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 4.

Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin said there were special circumstances in his case that allowed it to be viewed with compassion.

Justice Chao sympathised with Francis' condition and said it set him apart from other drug offenders. He said it was understandable Francis continued to use the drugs because he felt better each time, reported Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao.

When Francis was 17 years old, his lungs failed and doctors had to remove half of his left lung. At the age of 18, his intestines were punctured and he has since relied on stoma bags to collect waste.

Francis was convicted of two charges of consuming and possessing cannabis last October. Another charge of drug trafficking was taken into consideration.

His home was raided by the police and he was arrested two years ago. A packet of cannabis was seized from his home.

Francis was first introduced to the drug by a friend at a house party in 2011 and he continued to smoke it twice a week after he found it helped him relax and eased his discomfort.

In February, District Judge Siva Shanmugam sentenced him to eight months' jail due to the gravity of his offence and the need for general deterrence.

But Francis, who was represented by lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, appealed to ask for a probationary sentence instead of a jail term.

A probation report also said that an imprisonment term "would not be beneficial for (Francis) in light of his medical condition".

- Ng Jun Sen