Molester used private-hire car services to find victims
One distressed woman cut and burned herself while trapped with man, who was jailed for almost six years
Trapped in a car with a sexual predator, a woman became so distressed she cut and burned herself. She also submitted to his demand of sucking his toes in the hope of escaping his clutches.
Yesterday, Muhammad Hafiz Maksah, 27, dubbed a "clear danger to the public" by the prosecution, was jailed for five years and 10 months and given six strokes of the cane.
He pleaded guilty via video-link yesterday to three molest charges involving three victims. Another charge linked to a fourth victim and one count of criminal intimidation were taken into consideration.
The former Grab driver made use of unregulated private-hire car services to look for victims and violated them at secluded spots.
Suspended by Grab sometime after Aug 7 last year, he went on Telegram chat group Ride Kakis to seek riders. Ride Kakis is an unregulated ride-sharing platform where rider and driver can negotiate a price for the ride.
On Oct 11 last year, Hafiz molested his first victim, a 21-year-old student. After picking her up at 7.15pm, he stopped at a Circuit Road carpark with the front passenger door very close to the wall.
He told her he wanted to be friends and molested her. She threw $10 at him, squeezed out of the door and fled.
About nine hours later, around 5am the next day, a 20-year-old woman messaged to book a ride.
After picking her up in Jurong, he lied about having to make a detour to meet a friend and took her to a Jurong West carpark, where he repeatedly tried to get her to kiss him and took away her phone.
Feeling distressed, the woman got out of the car and picked up a shard of glass to cut herself, hoping he would let her go.
When that failed, she tried to climb over the carpark ledge, but Hafiz pulled her back into the car and locked the doors.
She continued to harm herself by burning her left hand with a lighter and banging her head against the car window.
But he molested her and said he wanted to have sex with her. When he told her to suck his toes, she complied in desperation.
He molested her again after she refused to have sex with him. Her ordeal ended only after he dropped her home at 10.30am.
Both victims made a police report that day. Ride Kakis was suspended soon after.
On March 16 this year, while under investigation, Hafiz molested a 21-year-old woman who booked a ride with him on SG Hitch - Premium, which is similar to Ride Kakis.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran told the court all three victims were greatly distressed and developed fears towards private-hire vehicles and taxis.
Calling for a sufficiently deterrent sentence, he said: "The accused is a serial offender who targeted victims within hours of each other. The offences were extensively planned, and the accused's conduct caused significantly high levels of distress to the victims."
For molesting the second victim who was restrained, Hafiz could have been jailed for up to 10 years and caned.
For the other molest charges, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.