2 February 2022

Teenager who sold drugs to kids avoids jail sentence due to 'unacceptable' delay

| Albert McKnight
Man leaving court

Anam Haque, 22, gives thumbs-up after his sentencing. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A young man has been sentenced for dealing drugs to two girls when he was a teenager, including one who was later taken to hospital over concerns for her welfare.

Anam Haque, 22, avoided any time behind bars, partly due to what Justice David Mossop said was an unacceptable delay in his case when he was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday (1 February).

Justice Mossop said the agreed facts stated the girls were both aged 17 in December 2017 when they went to a party at KidCity in Mitchell that night.

One, anonymised as CD, spoke to the then-18-year-old Haque and came to understand he was there to sell drugs. He told her he had substances like MDMA and acid.

He sold them what he said were two caps of MDMA for $50 and gave them strips of LSD for free.

CD began to notice the effects of the drugs and felt panicked. Eventually, they left the party in his car, while she still felt hot and panicky, and he dropped off her friend.

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Haque drove CD back to his home in Calwell and they engaged in sexual activity. Later, when CD arrived home, she vomited. Her mother became concerned for her welfare due to her unusual behaviour and took her to hospital.

Police searched Haque’s car and home a few days later, finding LSD in his wallet, as well as 0.17 grams of cocaine, 55 grams of ephylone and a paintball gun in his bedroom.

Haque pleaded guilty to charges of supplying a controlled drug to a child, trafficking in a controlled drug, possessing a drug of dependence and unauthorised possession of a firearm.

Justice Mossop said Haque knew the 17-year-olds were both children and his motivation to supply the drugs was commercial, as well as to ingratiate himself to them.

He said Haque reported he was young, naïve and influenced by anti-social peers at the time.

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As the events stemmed from 2017, Justice Mossop remarked there was an “unacceptable” and “unexplained” delay by the authorities in bringing the prosecution against him. But for this, he would have accepted there was no other sentence than a custodial one.

Haque has rehabilitated himself in that time, Justice Mossop said, and is now studying environmental science.

He was sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour order, 249 hours of community service and fined $2000.

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