Teen may face probation for beating up foreign workers

SINGAPORE - He has had "staring incidents" with foreign workers and wanted to hone his fighting skills.

So 18-year-old Daryl Lim Jun Liang picked foreign workers who were shorter and smaller, to beat them up with his friends. Between September and October last year, he was involved in four such incidents.

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) student pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt, and another charge will be taken into consideration for sentencing.

On Friday, the prosecution called for a more vigorous probation for the teen, so he would not associate with his gang members anymore, and would reflect on his wrongdoings.

On Oct 3 last year at around 3am, Lim and his three friends - Tan Jun Liang, 18, and two other 15-year-olds who cannot be named due to a gag order - met up in Yishun. The boys wanted to look for foreign workers to assault.

Around 6am, they spotted Chinese national Zuo Yu Nian, 48. Mr Zuo was walking along a pavement at Yishun Avenue 6, when the boys set upon him. Lim and a 15-year-old accomplice punched him multiple times on the face and mouth. All four then fled the scene, leaving Mr Zuo bleeding.

Calling for a stricter probation, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nicholas Lai said that the attack on the victim was entirely unprovoked, and there was a clear pre-meditated intent to pick on and assault a specific group with a certain build - "foreign workers who were deemed by the group as physically weak and unlikely to fight back".

"This had the potential to harm social cohesion which must be deterred," said DPP Lai.

He added that when asked by the probation officer about his actions, Lim had said they were feeling bored, and he wanted to practise his fighting skills, and had negative encounters with foreign workers, so they were chosen as targets.

"Such a response is both strikingly shocking and alarming which reveals the accused's profound lack of respect for another person, and his flagrant disregard for the law."

DPP Lai called for 18 months' probation, including three months in the Singapore Boys' Hostel, 120 hours of community service, and a curfew between 10pm and 6am.

Lim's lawyer Luke Lee asked that his client not be sent to the Singapore Boys' Hostel, as he is studying and is on an ITE work attachment.

He is expected to be sentenced on April 10.

The case involving Tan is still pending. The two 15-year-olds have been put on probation for 18 months.

For voluntarily causing hurt, Lim can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.


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