What happened on Jan 26, the day Benjamin Lim died

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

A timeline of events was laid out during the coroner's inquiry yesterday into the death of 14-year-old Benjamin Lim.

9.45-9.50am: Five plain-clothes officers go to North View Secondary School in two unmarked cars. The officers are taken to see principal Chen Fook Pang. Staff suspect Benjamin was the one in police camera footage because of his red spectacles.

About 10am: Discipline mistress Steff Chan Su Qin gets Benjamin from the canteen, where he was sitting alone. The principal reassures him in his office. Inspector Poh Wee Teck interviews him in the presence of school staff. About 10.30am: Police decide to take Benjamin to the Ang Mo Kio Police Division. He calls his mother on his phone.


At the station, senior investigation officer Mohammad Fareed interviews Benjamin in an open plan office. The boy allegedly admits that he had followed an 11-year-old girl into a lift the day before, dropped his phone on purpose and touched her left back thigh while standing up.

Benjamin is arrested and put in a temporary holding area, away from other adults, as he waits for bail to be processed.

About 2.50pm: Benjamin is released into his mother's custody. On the way home, she asks if he had committed the act. He says no, and that he does not know what happened.

About 3.30pm: Benjamin reaches home. After showering and lunch, he plays games on his phone at the dining table.

4.13pm: School counsellor Karry Lung calls. Benjamin's mother tells her son that the school said he would not be allowed to attend a Secondary 3 school camp.

4.18pm: When she comes out of a toilet she has been cleaning, she finds the boy's room locked. She opens it with a spare key. He is not in the room. A window is open and his phone is on his bed. She rushes downstairs with her daughter.

4.36pm: Benjamin is pronounced dead.

Seow Bei Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'What happened on Jan 26, the day Benjamin Lim died'. Print Edition | Subscribe