Probation for teen who took part in group attack on boy in youth home

SINGAPORE - A teenager who ganged up with his twin brother and two other offenders to attack a 14-year-old boy in a youth home when they were residents there in 2018 went on to commit drug-related crimes the following year.

The 19-year-old Singaporean was on Monday (Dec 6) sentenced to 21 months' probation after he earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and three drug-related charges.

He also has to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am every day and perform 60 hours of community service.

On Nov 29, his twin brother was sentenced to 15 months' probation after he pleaded guilty to one count each of assault and using abusive words on a public servant.

The two brothers were initially accused of being part of a group that forced the victim to bend over before another youth allegedly inserted items, including a highlighter, into him.

These sexual penetration charges were later withdrawn and the pair were given a discharge amounting to an acquittal for them. This means the two brothers cannot be charged again with the same offences.

The cases involving at least one of their alleged accomplices are still pending.

Details about the youth home and victim cannot be disclosed due to a gag order. The identities of the two brothers also cannot be revealed as they were below 18 when they committed their offences.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Wuan said that the victim was in his room at the home at around 10pm some time in October 2018 when the twins and two other youths confronted him.

The four teenagers then rained blows on the victim who covered his face with his hands to protect himself, the court heard.

The court also heard that the offenders assaulted the boy as they felt he was arrogant and wanted to teach him a lesson.

The victim did not tell anyone or seek medical attention after this incident and his attackers targeted him again the following month.

The DPP said: "They... instructed the victim to lie down on one of the beds. Feeling that he had no choice but to comply, the victim did so."

One of his attackers then used a metal rod taken from a clothing rack to hit the victim's buttocks about four times. The group then left the scene.

The victim finally told a friend about his ordeal after this second attack.

A social worker at the home was then alerted and the police were notified.

In December 2019, The Straits Times contacted the organisation that runs the home over this case but was told to direct all queries to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

In an earlier statement, the ministry said that the victim no longer stayed at the home, adding: "MSF does not condone behaviours by residents of children's homes that are detrimental to the safety and well-being of other residents... The (victim) had received counselling and psychological services."

Separately, the teenager who was sentenced on Monday also admitted to drug possession and consumption in 2019.

For assault, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

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