The Benjamin Lim case: A timeline of what happened

Benjamin Lim's bedroom in his family's Yishun HDB flat on the 14th floor.
Benjamin Lim's bedroom in his family's Yishun HDB flat on the 14th floor. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE
The Yishun flat on the 14th floor, from which Benjamin Lim fell to his death.
The Yishun flat on the 14th floor, from which Benjamin Lim fell to his death. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - On Jan 26, a 14-year-old Secondary 3 schoolboy was found dead at the foot of a block of flats in Yishun. He had lived on the 14th floor with his family.

The boy, Benjamin Lim, had earlier been questioned by the police in connection with an allegation involving outrage of modesty.

In Parliament on Tuesday (March 1), Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam laid out the facts of the case. Here is a summary:

Jan 25: In the lift

• Benjamin makes a detour to another block on his way home from school

 
 
 

• He allegedly follows an 11-year-old girl into a lift at the ground floor

• What happens in the lift is caught on CCTV; Benjamin later admits to touching a part of the girl's body

• He steps out of the lift at the 13th floor

• The pair have a brief exchange, but she does not follow him

• He gets into the lift at the 12th floor and goes to the ground floor

• The girl tells her father what happened, and they go to the police

• From CCTV footage, police identify the boy's school from his uniform

Jan 26: At Benjamin's school

• Police retrieve relevant CCTV footage and identify a boy in school uniform as the suspect 

• Five plainclothes officers go to North View Secondary School in unmarked cars


North View Secondary School.. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

• Benjamin is identified by school officials after seeing a screenshot of  the footage

• A school staff member goes to the canteen to look for Benjamin, and takes him to the principal's office

 
 

• The principal tells him that a police officer wants to speak to him, and that staff will stay with him

• An officer speaks with Benjamin about the incident in the presence of staff

• The other four police officers are not in the room

• Benjamin is advised by the principal to call his mother, and he does so

• An officer tells Benjamin's mother that he would be taken to Ang Mo Kio Police Station to give his statement

• Benjamin is taken to the police station in an unmarked car by three officers. One officer alights along the way

• Benjamin's mother and elder sister arrive at school around 11am, but he has already left

• Principal tells a school counsellor to call Benjamin's mother later to check on his well-being

Jan 26: At the police station

• An officer takes Benjamin's statement at his workstation in an open plan office

• Benjamin is not handcuffed at any time, and is cooperative

 

• His written statement is taken at 12.15pm

• He is offered food and drink after the interview, which he declines

• He is placed in a temporary holding room alone

• Police record a statement from Benjamin's mother

• Benjamin is released on bail around 2.50pm, after around 3½ hours on the station. He leaves with his family

Jan 26: At his home


The HDB block in Yishun where Benjamin Lim and his family lived. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

• Benjamin has lunch, then plays games on his handphone

• Around 4.15pm, his mother receives a call from a school counsellor

 

• The counsellor discusses with Benjamin's mother if it would be better for him to remain with his family during this period

• His mother agrees and it was decided he would not attend the Secondary 3 school camp

• She tells Benjamin he will not be going to camp the next day

• At 4.20pm, Benjamin is found dead at the foot of block where his family lives