Public Prosecutor v Mohamed Rizhwan Bin Abdul Rahim

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeBrenda Chua
Judgment Date17 January 2023
Neutral Citation[2023] SGDC 4
Citation[2023] SGDC 4
Docket NumberDistrict Arrest Case No. 910983 of 2021, Magistrate’s Appeal No. 9001 of 2023-01
Hearing Date18 August 2022,19 August 2022,26 October 2022,29 December 2022
Plaintiff CounselJocelyn Teo (Attorney-General's Chambers)
Defendant CounselThe Accused in person.
Subject MatterCriminal Law,Statutory offences,Misuse of Drugs Act,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Sentencing
Published date27 January 2023
District Judge Brenda Chua: Introduction

The accused person, Mohamed Rizhwan Bin Abdul Rahim, claimed trial to the following charge:

DAC-910983-2021 (“the Charge”)

You…are charged that you, on or before 29 April 2021, in Singapore, did consume a specified drug listed in the Fourth Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed), to wit, Methamphetamine, without authorization under the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed) or the regulations made thereunder, and you have thereby committed an offence under Section 8(b)(ii) of the said Act,

and further, that you, before the commission of the said offence, were on 17 January 2018 in District Court 5, vide DAC0938962/2016, convicted of an offence for consumption of a specified drug, to wit, Methamphetamine, under Section 8(b)(ii) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed) and punished under Section 33A(1) of the said Act with 5 years imprisonment, and 3 strokes of the cane, which conviction and punishment have not been set aside to date, and you shall now be punished under Section 33A(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed),

and further, that you, from 29 February 2020 to 28 October 2021, were subject to a remission order made by the Commissioner of Prisons under Division 2 or 3 of Part VB of the Prisons Act (Cap. 247, Rev. Ed. 2014) which remission order is subject to the basic condition under section 50S(1) of the Prisons Act and while the remission order is in effect you, on 29 April 2021, committed the aforesaid offence and upon conviction and the imposition of a sentence reflected under section 50S(1)(b) of the Prisons Act, shall be deemed to have breached the basic condition of your remission order, and you are thereby liable to be punished under section 50T(2)(b) of the Prisons Act with an enhanced sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding the remaining duration of the remission order of 183 Days from 29 April 2021 to 28 October 2021 for that offence.

I convicted the accused on the Charge at the trial’s conclusion.

The accused pleaded guilty to two other charges (DAC-918983-2021 and DAC-918984-2021). The accused admitted to and consented to another charge to be taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing (DAC-918985-2021). These charges pertained to offences committed under regulation 15(3)(f) read with regulation 15(6)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs (Approved Institutions, Medical Observation and Treatment and Rehabilitation) Regulations (Cap. 185, Rg 3, 1999 Revised Edition), and for which the accused was liable for enhanced sentences.

For the Charge, I sentenced the accused to an imprisonment term of seven years and six months with six strokes of the cane, and an enhanced sentence of 130 days’ imprisonment.

For DAC-918983-2021, I sentenced the accused to an imprisonment term of seven months and an enhanced sentence of 50 days’ imprisonment. For DAC-918984-2021, I sentenced the accused to an imprisonment term of seven months and an enhanced sentence of 50 days’ imprisonment.

I bore in mind the one-transaction rule and the totality principle as set out in Mohamed Shouffee bin Adam v Public Prosecutor [2014] 2 SLR 998. I ordered the sentences for the Charge and DAC-918983-2021 to run consecutively. These charges were committed on separate occasions and involved offences that invaded distinct legally protected interests. I ordered the sentence for DAC-918984-2021 to run concurrently. The aggregate length of all the enhanced sentences must not exceed 297 days, as determined based on the date of the earliest offence committed (in this case, DAC-918983-2021).

The global sentence was an imprisonment term of seven years and 13 months with six strokes of the cane, and an enhanced sentence of 230 days’ imprisonment. The accused is presently serving his sentence.

The accused has appealed against the conviction and the sentence imposed for the Charge. He is not appealing against the sentences imposed for the charges to which he pleaded guilty. As such, I set out below the reasons for my decision in respect of the Charge.

The prosecution’s case

The prosecution’s position was as set out below: The accused’s urine specimens were procured in accordance with the First Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs (Urine Specimens and Urine Tests) Regulations (Cap 185, Regulation 6, 1999 Revised Edition), as supported by the prosecution witnesses’ testimony in relation to the urine procurement process, instant urine test (“IUT”) and sealing of urine containers for analysis by the Health Sciences Authority (“HSA”);1 Methamphetamine was found in the accused’s urine specimens as evidenced by the results of the urine tests conducted by HSA, which led to the conclusion that the accused had consumed methamphetamine prior to his arrest;2 The accused admitted to consumption of methamphetamine without authorisation, as set out in the accused’s statement under section 22 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68, 2012 Revised Edition) dated 30 April 2021 (“the 30 April 2021 Statement”) (Exhibit P9);3 The accused was presumed to have consumed methamphetamine under section 16 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Revised Edition) (“the section 16 presumption”), and he failed to rebut the presumption;4 and The presumption of consumption under section 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (“the section 22 presumption”) applied as methamphetamine was found in the accused’s urine, and the Misuse of Drugs (Urine Specimens and Urine Tests) Regulations were complied with. The accused had not rebutted the section 22 presumption.5

The prosecution called the following witnesses:

S/N Witness Role Marking
1 Odiada Adriel Rhys Lancaon Officer who lodged the arrest report dated 29 April 2021 (Exhibit P1) PW1
2 Hamir Bin Atan Escorting officer for urine procurement PW2
3 Nadiah Binte Kamsir Escorting officer who brought the accused from Woodlands Police Division to Tanglin Police Division (designated location for persons-in-custody with COVID-19 symptoms) PW3
4 Dr Lin Hanjie Doctor who examined the accused after the accused complained of having cough and sore throat (COVID-19 symptoms) PW4
5 Nur Syahindah Binte Samri IUT operator/Sealing officer PW5
6 Tan Han Yong Officer in charge of operations in Tanglin Police Division lock-up for handling persons-in-custody with COVID-19 symptoms PW6
7 Mohammad Fazuri Bin Isnin Despatch officer PW7
8 Mohamed Fauzi Bin Abdul Karim Current investigation officer PW8
9 Ng Chee Ann HSA analyst PW9
10 Maggie Tiong Su Su HSA analyst PW10
11 Leong Li An Statement recorder and former investigation officer PW11
The prosecution witnesses’ evidence on key timelines

The key chronology of events on 29 April 2021 and 30 April 2021 was set out as follows. 29 April 2021 Arrest report. Odiada Adriel Rhys Lancaon (PW1) lodged a police report concerning the accused’s arrest. Woodlands Police Division. Hamir Bin Atan (PW2) testified as follows: Charge Office He verified the accused’s name and identification number in the Woodlands Police Division Regional Lock-up Charge Office (“the Charge Office”). Toilet He walked to the Charge Office toilet (“the Toilet”) with the accused and an AETOS police officer. He instructed the accused to wash and dry his hands, after which he went back to the Charge Office with the accused and the AETOS police officer. Charge Office At the Charge Office, he instructed the accused to select one master bottle with a red cap (“the Red Master Bottle”) out of ten bottles and two urine containers with a blue cap (“Blue Urine Container” for one or “the two Blue Urine Containers” for two) out of 20 urine containers (together known as “the Three Bottles”). These bottles were individually pre-packed and sealed. Toilet He went back to the Toilet with the accused and the AETOS police officer, with “the accused himself”6 carrying the Three Bottles. The accused was asked to tear open the packaging for the Three Bottles in the Toilet. First, the accused was told to urinate into the Red Master Bottle, which was carried out in PW2’s view. The volume of the urine was more than 80ml as indicated by the 80ml marking of the Red Master Bottle. The accused closed the Red Master Bottle, passed it to PW2 who swirled the Red Master Bottle, and PW2 passed it back to the accused. Second, the accused was asked to transfer urine from the Red Master Bottle at a volume of 30ml each to the two Blue Urine Containers as indicated by the 30ml marking. After the accused did so, there was still some urine left in the Red Master Bottle. Third, the accused closed the Red Master Bottle and the two Blue Urine Containers. The accused passed the Three Bottles to PW2 who sealed each bottle with masking tape at the side of the cap and carried out the following sequential actions in front of the accused: PW2 put the Red Master Bottle in an anti-tamper polymer bag (“Primary Anti-Tamper Bag”) which was marked with the accused’s “Name and NRIC number”7. PW2 put the two Blue Urine Containers in another anti-tamper bag (“Secondary Anti-Tamper Bag”) which was marked with the accused’s “Name and IC”8. PW2 sealed the Secondary Anti-Tamper Bag (“the Sealed Secondary Bag”) and put it in the Primary Anti-Tamper Bag which was also sealed by PW2 (“the Sealed Primary Bag”). Fourth, PW2 handed the Sealed Primary Bag to the accused and instructed the accused “not to tamper” with it and to “hold on to it at all times”. The accused “acknowledged” these instructions.9 According to PW2, the accused “did not complain” during this process.10 Temporary holding area An AETOS police officer escorted the accused to a temporary holding area at...

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