Uber driver jailed 14 months for having sex with underage runaway

SINGAPORE - An Uber driver was aware that a teenage runaway whom he had picked up was underage, but that did not deter him from having sex with her.

Isyam Rahmat, 36, was jailed for 14 months on Monday (May 7) after pleading guilty last month to one count of having sex with the minor, who was then 15 years old.

Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said the girl ran away from home on Jan 19 last year because of family issues and was waiting for a taxi in Elias Road in Pasir Ris that evening when Isyam drove by.

He stopped his car to ask the girl where she was going and she said she wanted to go to Downtown East in nearby Pasir Ris Close.

He then offered to drive her to the entertainment hub, the court heard. She declined at first but entered his car when he insisted on taking her there. The girl then told him her age and he treated her to a meal at a fast-food restaurant.

After asking the girl if she could hang out, Isyam called a friend to ask about hotels and chalets that did not need customers' identity cards to check in.

He then drove her to a multi-storey carpark and started touching her right thigh. She pushed him away and he took her back to Elias Road. She later spent the night at the void deck of a block of flats.

The girl phoned him at around 4pm the next day as she was bored, and he picked her up about three hours later. His friend, Jamalludin Abdullah, 65, was in the back seat. After they had dinner, Isyam drove to places such as East Coast Park and Changi Beach, said DPP Chew.

He added that at every location, the two men looked for secluded places which did not have police closed-circuit television cameras.

Isyam finally drove to Jamalludin's home in Punggol Central at around 4am on Jan 21 last year and the trio went to a staircase landing on the 16th storey of his block of flats.

The girl was scared and thought of running away, but did not do so as she was unfamiliar with the neighbourhood, said DPP Chew.

Jamalludin went home and Isyam had unprotected sex with the minor. The girl complied as she felt helpless, said the DPP.

Jamalludin returned soon afterwards and asked the teenager to have sex with him but she refused. Isyam then took her back to Elias Road and she made a police report later that morning. Officers arrested the two men the next day.

The case involving Jamalludin is still pending. For having sex with the minor, Isyam could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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