Jail for woman who offered drugs to teenage daughter as bonding activity

SINGAPORE- As a bonding activity, a woman offered drugs to her 17-year-old daughter while they were at home.

The 37-year-old woman was sentenced to seven years and three months' jail on Monday (June 27) for the offence which took place on March 20, 2021, as well as for other drug-related offences.

She pleaded guilty to three charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and two other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The offender cannot be named as it could lead to her daughter's identity being revealed. Those below the age of 18 are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee told the court on Monday that the offender had offered Ice - the street name for methamphetamine - to her daughter and permitted her to smoke it in their home.

The mother prepared the drug and handed the smoking utensil to her daughter who then took several puffs of the drug.

On March 22, 2021, at about 11pm, officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau conducted an operation and arrested the pair.

DPP Gwee said: "The accused admitted to preparing 'Ice' for (her daughter) to smoke.

"The accused admitted that she prepared 'Ice' for her children and herself to smoke as a family bonding activity, and the accused and her children had done so at least once a week since November 2020 to the date of the operation."

Court documents revealed that one of the charges that was taken into consideration during the mother's sentencing was for allowing a 20-year-old man to smoke Ice, but the documents did not state the pair's relationship.

Urine samples taken from both mother and daughter following their arrest were later found to contain the drug.

A packet of crystalline substance recovered from the home during the operation was also analysed and found to contain not less than 0.89g of Ice.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw sentenced the offender to five years' jail for the consumption offence and two years and three months' jail for the offence involving her daughter.

He meted out an eight-month sentence for her possession offence, and ordered this sentence to run concurrently with the other two.

Before delivering his sentence, the district judge said the offender "ought to have protected her children from drugs at all cost", instead of facilitating consumption.

The offender's lawyer, Ms Sadhana Rai, had asked for a two-year jail sentence for her client for the offence involving her daughter. DPP Gwee had asked the court for a jail sentence of two years and six months for the offence.

Ms Rai said the main intention for the corresponding law was to protect very young children from the harmful exposure of drugs, and cited a letter from the daughter in which she said she was not introduced to drugs by her mother.

Instead, she said she came into contact with drugs while she was placed in a home and had been influenced to take drugs by others.

Court documents do not reveal if any action has been taken against the daughter following her arrest.

In mitigation, Ms Rai added that the offender thought that by consuming the drugs with her children, she could control and limit the drugs they would have consumed, though the lawyer admitted that this was a "misguided and warped way of thinking".

For being in possession of a controlled drug and allowing a young person to smoke it, while being over the age of 21, the offender could have been jailed for up to 10 years.

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