Youth bashed woman when robbing her, causing multiple facial fractures

SINGAPORE - A woman suffered multiple facial fractures after a teenager out on bail for drug-related offences bashed and robbed her at a HDB lift lobby.

The 53-year-old woman was so shaken by the attack last October that she has undergone two psychotherapy sessions.

Her attacker, Rishi Christopher, who turned 20 last December, pleaded guilty on Tuesday (April 9) to committing robbery with hurt. He also admitted to one count each of theft, criminal breach of trust and drug possession and consumption.

A gag order has been imposed to protect the woman's identity.

Police first arrested Rishi during a spot check in Toa Payoh on Sept 20 last year and his urine sample was later found to contain traces of a synthetic cannabinoid. A brown substance in his possession contained a similar drug.

Court documents state that Rishi admitted that he had smoked the drug daily since 2016.

He was later released on bail - only to commit further offences.

At around 11am on Oct 18 last year, he stole items of clothing, including a T-shirt and a pair of shoes, worth more than $120 in all from a shop at Waterway Point mall in Punggol.

About three hours later, he was sitting at the void deck of a Punggol Way block of flats when he spotted the woman walking past.

 
 
 

Rishi followed her into a lift, got out with her at a higher floor and punched her face, causing the woman to drop her keys and mobile phone.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rebecca Wong told District Judge Eddy Tham: "Before the victim could react, the accused grabbed (her) neck, choking her and rained multiple punches on her face.

"The victim fell to her knees screaming in pain. The accused continued to punch (her) while pulling on her handbag and telling her to 'let go'. The victim refused."

The woman then grabbed hold of Rishi's groin and squeezed it hard, forcing him to release his grip. She also tried to hit him with her umbrella but he flung it aside.

The DPP added: "The accused then tried to snatch the victim's handbag but to no avail... The victim held onto her bag and tried to crawl towards her umbrella. The accused kicked the victim away from him, grabbed her keys off the floor and fled the scene."

A resident who heard the commotion alerted the police. Officers found the injured woman slumped against a wall at the lift lobby.

She was warded at Sengkang General Hospital until Oct 23 and given 27 days of medical leave.

The court heard that police arrested Rishi in Yishun about four hours after the robbery.

DPP Wong also said that he misappropriated an $850 e-scooter from a Yishun shop on Oct 17 last year after telling the store owner that he wanted to take it out for a test-ride.

Judge Tham said told Rishi on Tuesday that the robbery was a "heinous crime" that left the woman with "horrendous" injuries.

Judge Tham called for a report on assess Rishi's suitability for reformative training, which involves confining offenders to a centre to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.

Rishi is expected to be sentenced on April 30. Committing robbery with hurt can bring a jail term of between five and 20 years with at least 12 strokes of the cane.