Coroner's inquiry into Benjamin Lim's death: Teen told police he did not know 11-year-old girl he allegedly touched

The block from which Benjamin Lim jumped on Jan 26, 2016.
The block from which Benjamin Lim jumped on Jan 26, 2016.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Benjamin Lim did not know the 11-year-old girl he allegedly touched and just wanted to take a new route home that day, he told the police on Jan 26.

She happened to walk the same way, in front of him, and he thought that she was "cute-looking" and wanted to touch her, said Senior Investigation Officer Mohammad Fareed Rahmat in court on Wednesday (May 18).

SIO Fareed took the stand on the second day of an inquiry into the 14-year-old schoolboy's death, and read out Benjamin's police statement.

According to the statement taken at the Ang Mo Kio Police Division, it was around 2.30pm when he decided to walk home from school.

He saw the girl when he reached the bus stop near his block. She was alone and in a school uniform that he did not recognise.

He did not know about her initially, and simply wanted to try out a new route home - a sheltered pathway to his block.

 

"The Chinese girl also happened to walk the same way, and she walked in front of me," said SIO Fareed, reading out the boy's statement.

At some point, the schoolgirl turned back to look at him, and he felt "scared" that she thought he might be following her.

When he reached the lift lobby of her block, he saw her waiting for the lift and waited beside her.

"I wanted to go in the lift with her," read his statement.

He went in, pressed a button and came up with a plan to drop his phone on the floor. He did so near the girl's left leg, and bent to pick it up.

"I used my right hand, and touched her left back thigh," the statement said.

But he felt scared after that, looked at her and said "sorry".

The girl did not say anything in the lift or confront Benjamin as she was afraid, according to SIO Fareed's conditioned statement. The officer had interviewed the 11-year-old on Jan 25.

He stepped out on the 13th floor, and she said: "Wait, wait."

But she felt scared when Benjamin replied "What is it?" and said, "Nothing, nothing."

Benjamin then walked away, holding on to his phone, said SIO Fareed. He took the staircase down one level and later, went to the ground floor while she took the lift again and headed home.

She told her father what happened. He rushed home from work and the pair headed to Yishun North Neighbourhood Police Centre, said the officer.

He added that according to the father, the young girl had been crying when she told him what happened.