SINGAPORE — A freelance delivery driver with Grab who befriended a 15-year-old girl whom he ferried later supplied her and her friend with methamphetamine.
This was after Muhammad Raziff Hisham, 32, told the girls that he had consumed drugs before. The two teen girls then became curious about drugs.
The two 15-year-olds then asked Raziff to provide the drug and teach them how to consume it. While initially denying their request, Raziff gave in to their persistence, his lawyer Wee Hong Shern told the court.
Raziff’s actions landed him in jail on Friday (20 November), with the court sentencing Raziff to three-and-a-half years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to one charge of permitting the girls to consume drugs, consuming the drug and possessing the drug. One charge involving the possession of drug consumption utensils was taken into consideration for sentencing.
According to the prosecution, Raziff met one of the girls via a group chat on a chat app and frequently gave her rides to and from her destination. He received payments for these rides occasionally.
On 26 April this year, a friend of the girl asked her if she knew any drug suppliers as she wanted to purchase methamphetamine, known as Ice. The girl then approached Raziff and they agreed to smoke the drug together. Raziff knew the girls’ ages then.
The next day at about 4am, Raziff picked the two girls up and drove to a nearby multi-storey car park at 278 Compassvale Bow where they smoked the drug for the next three hours in Raziff’s car.
Raziff helped the girls with the drug utensils and provided the drug.
Stress and pressure in personal life
The girl’s friend was arrested on 28 April and asked to provide urine samples which later tested positive for methamphetamine.
Raziff was arrested on 4 May and his urine sample also tested positive for the same drug. He had been abusing it since November or December last year.
Wee told the court that Raziff had turned to drugs as a way to deal with the stress and pressure of his personal and professional life. He had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child with his wife, a secondary school teacher, and had been retrenched as a steersman, losing a stable income.
Due to his retrenchment, he was unable to meet the instalment payments on his mortgage, even after he found employment as a freelance delivery driver with Grab.
His friends then introduced him to drugs, promising that the drugs would ease his worries and alleviate his stress and anxiety, said the lawyer.
“Our client could not resist the momentary escape from his problems and consumed them,” said Wee.
While the prosecution sought 36 months’ jail for the charge of permitting a young person to consume drugs, Wee asked for 30 months’ jail, citing a previous case. District Judge Carol Ling Feng Yong passed a 30-month sentence for this particular charge eventually.
DJ Ling said that she took the prosecution’s point that that willingness of the victim in seeking out the drug should not have a “direct relevance” on the culpability of Raziff.
“As a full grown adult, the accused should have known better,” said the judge. Raziff should not have permitted a young person to smoke drugs or offer to smoke with her, she added.
She noted that Raziff’s relationship with the victim did not make her more vulnerable or put her in position of special vulnerability, but that he showed some activeness in picking up the victims and helping them smoke the drug.
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