Second teen admits to group attack on 14-year-old boy in youth home

SINGAPORE - A second offender admitted in a district court to his role in a group attack on a 14-year-old boy in a youth home in 2018 when they were residents there.

The court heard that the 19-year-old Singaporean, his twin brother and two other boys assaulted the victim as they felt he was being arrogant and wanted to teach him a lesson.

The offender pleaded guilty on Monday (Nov 8) to two counts of assault and three drug-related charges.

On Nov 1, his twin brother admitted to an assault charge and an unrelated offence of using abusive words on a public servant.

District Judge May Mesenas has called for reports to assess the twin brothers' suitability for probation.

The youth who pleaded guilty on Monday will be sentenced on Dec 6. His twin will be sentenced on Nov 29.

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These sexual penetration charges were later withdrawn and the pair were given a discharge amounting to an acquittal for them.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 minors when they committed their offences.

Young people below 18 are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.

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 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 to 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 offender 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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