Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Teen Found Dead After Police Investigation

Update 19 Aug 2016: Coroner - Benjamin Lim's death a suicide
Benjamin Lim’s body was found at the bottom of this Yishun block of flats on 26 Jan 2016

Ruling the death of Benjamin Lim a suicide, State Coroner Marvin Bay said the police & his school had taken steps to engage him sensitively. But an "additional refinement" could be for a school counsellor to accompany the student to the police station.

The North View Secondary School student, 14, was found dead at the foot of his block in Yishun on Jan 26, hours after being questioned at Ang Mo Kio police division for the alleged molest of an 11-yr-old girl in a lift.

Coroner Bay said he had viewed the closed-circuit television footage from the lift many times.

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Benjamin Lim’s story – Not over yet?

Benjamin’s death remains mired in a number of unresolved debates – from quarrels over whether Benjamin had allegedly committed molest to concerns about police overreach when questioning the 14 year old boy.

The coroner’s inquiry, now adjourned to June 8, has also found itself torn between conflicting testimonies given by Benjamin’s parents and staff at Benjamin’s school: in one instance, the parents claim that the school had made a unilateral decision to disallow Benjamin from attending his school camp, which some netizens see as the trigger behind Benjamin’s decision to commit suicide, but school authorities have claimed otherwise.

From the looks of the proceedings so far, the question of whether Benjamin had indeed outraged the modesty of the 11 year old girl will remain unanswered. When State Counsel Wong Woon Kwong asked for the presiding coroner to arrive at a conclusion on whether Benjamin had committed the offence or not, State Coroner Marvin Bay declined, stating very clearly the purpose of the trial: “This is (an) inquiry into the death of Benjamin. It is not a criminal trial.”

related: Benjamin Lim (06 June 2001 – 26 Jan 2016)

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Teen had been questioned by police thrice the day he died

Schoolboy Benjamin Lim had been questioned thrice by 3 different police officers on the day of his death on Jan 26, the Coroner’s Court heard on Wed (May 18).

An hour after he was brought to Ang Mo Kio Police Station to assist police with investigations, the 14-year-old admitted to Senior Investigation Officer (SIO) Mohammad Fareed Rahmat that he had touched a girl in a lift the previous day.

Based on Benjamin’s police statement recorded on Jan 26, the minor initially did not admit to touching the girl as he was “scared”. He confessed sometime around 12.15pm on Jan 26, after SIO Fareed had given the boy 20 minutes alone to “think again”.

Mother didn't object to officers bringing son to police station, says Inspector
Father disputes report that son molested girl
Benjamin Lim showed no signs of distress prior to death, Coroner’s Inquiry hears
Coroner’s inquiry into Benjamin Lim’s death to begin Tuesday

Benjamin Lim case: Mother didn't object to officers bringing son to police station

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Upsetting to suggest boy's stress related to phone call with mother, says lawyer

Suggesting  a correlation between Benjamin Lim's mother speaking loudly to her son over the phone and the “significant stress” he appeared to be under would be “very upsetting” to Mrs Lim, said the family's lawyer.

Mr Choo Zheng Xi was speaking on behalf of the 14-yr-old student's family on Wed (May 18), the second day of the coroner's inquiry into the teenager's death.

The Secondary 3 teen was found dead at the foot of his Housing Board block in Yishun on Jan 26, after being questioned by police earlier in the day about a case of alleged molest.

Court shown video of alleged molestation
Differing accounts of decision to pull teen from camp

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Father disputes report that son molested girl

The father of Benjamin Lim, a school boy found dead after he was questioned by police, has disputed an investigation report which stated that his son touched an 11-year-old girl.

CCTV footage from the lift on Jan 25 was played in camera on Tue (May 17) and viewed by Benjamin’s family. Counsel for the boy's family, Mr Choo Zheng Xi, said Benjamin's father is of the view that there was "no bodily contact" between Benjamin and the 11-yr-old, just a "brush at the area of the girl's skirt".

The Coroner's Court earlier heard in the morning that the girl felt a "soft tap" on her left butt cheek and when she glanced down, saw the person's right hand moving away from her.

related: Benjamin Lim showed no signs of distress prior to death, Coroner’s Inquiry

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Court shown video of alleged molestation
Benjamin's body was found at the bottom of this Yishun block on Jan 26, after he was interviewed by police in a case of alleged molestation.TNP FILE FOTO

Benjamin Lim, the 14-yr-old who fell to his death in January after being arrested for alleged molestation, entered a lift at the same time as an 11-yr-old girl. He was seen dropping his mobile phone. And as he picked it up, his right hand apparently touched the back of her left thigh.

A video of these events on Jan 25, captured by surveillance cameras, was shown in court yesterday, as the coroner's inquiry into his death began. The media was ordered to clear the courtroom when the minute-long video was played, to protect the identity of the victim.

But when reporters returned, Benjamin's 46-yr-old father disputed that the girl had been touched. His lawyer Choo Zheng Xi told the court that what the father said he observed was a "brush at the area of the girl's skirt" and that it appeared to him that there was no bodily contact. Benjamin's parents cannot be named after the court granted their request not to be identified.

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Benjamin Lim's death: Police officer testifies

The police officer who investigated the death of Benjamin Lim, 14, told the coroner's inquiry on Tue (May 17) how the boy had allegedly molested a girl, 11, in a lift on Jan 25.

ASP Mohammad Razif said the police had obtained closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the alleged molest from the lift after Benjamin died on Jan 26.

He had allegedly leapt from his bedroom window to his death.

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Coroner’s inquiry into Benjamin Lim’s death: Police, school ensured teen was sensitively treated, says State Counsel

Staff from Benjamin Lim's school took care to ensure he was sensitively treated when police officers turned up on Jan 26 to speak to him, said State Counsel Wong Woon Kwong in court on Tue (May 17).

The Secondary 3 schoolboy's parents were also kept informed of the situation, he said, during his opening statement at the coroner's inquiry into Benjamin's death.

The 14-yr-old was found dead at the foot of the Housing Board flat in Yishun where he lived, after being questioned by police earlier that day for allegedly molesting an 11-yr-old girl.

related: Principal says he appeared calm in office

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5 highlights discussed in Parliament about the Benjamin Lim case

The case of Benjamin Lim who fell to his death on Jan 26 sparked a discussion in parliament today (Mar 1) lasting near 3-hours. The 14-yr-old teenager was interrogated by the police on the same day he died over molest allegations.

Members of Parliament grilled Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam and Acting Minister for Education Ng Chee Meng on the treatment of minors and facts about the case.

Here are five highlights discussed in Parliament today about the Benjamin Lim case:
  • "It is likely that on the evidence available to us, Benjamin would have received no more than a warning. He is unlikely to have been charged in court." - Mr Shanmugam
  • "[The Online Citizen] has gone on a planned, orchestrated campaign, using falsehoods, and has published about 20 articles or so as part of its campaign." - Mr Shanmugam
  • "Once the coroner announces his findings, both facts and conclusions, then people can offer their criticisms, viewpoints, comments." - Mr Shanmugam
  • "Mr Thio has a duty to be fair to the police officers involved. He need only to have referred to the police statement on Feb 1 to know that his facts are untrue." - Mr Shanmugam
  • "Our schools provide a safe, nurturing and conducive environment for learning. Our schools will always take appropriate steps to look after their students' interests and well-being, but they cannot do so in a manner that will obstruct the police in their investigations." - Mr Ng
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Benjamin Lim case: MPs question if release of more information could have dispelled falsehoods

The question of whether the authorities could have shared more information to dispel allegations on the Benjamin Lim case being circulated was raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tue (Mar 1), after the Home Affairs and Education ministers set out the facts of the case and their protocols to handle such matters.

Although Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said it was a deliberate decision to refrain from passing comments out of respect for the boy’s family and the young girl in the alleged molestation, MPs expressed concern about the public being misled by falsehoods being spread in public and online. The 14-yr-old boy was found dead at the foot of his HDB block on Jan 26 after he had been questioned on an alleged molestation.

Others also asked if protocols for police investigations and schools’ handling of investigations involving students needed to be tweaked, even as a review is underway, including on the suggestion for a familiar adult figure to accompany minors being questioned.

Minister sets out facts, falsehoods of Benjamin Lim case
Suicides involve complex factors, so don’t jump the gun, says Shanmugam
7 in 10 youths investigated by police are not charged
Students currently not allowed to be accompanied to police station

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Police in Benjamin Lim case acted 'in accordance with rules': MHA

The individual police officers involved in the Benjamin Lim case “carried out their duties faithfully & properly, in accordance with the rules”, said Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament on Tuesday (Mar 1), adding that there is nothing so far to suggest that Benjamin was mistreated by the police.

“At this stage, we cannot say, that the interview was the specific reason for the suicide”, said Mr Shanmugam, referring to the Jan 26 incident in which a 14-yr old student was found dead after he was questioned over a molest allegation

He told Parliament that a review of the protocol for police interviews of young people is being carried out following the case. But based on the facts given to him, Mr Shanmugam told Parliament that he believes the police officers on the case had acted according to the current protocol for interviewing young persons.

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Shanmugam slams 'deliberate falsehoods' to tar police

Home Affairs & Law Minister K. Shanmugam hit out at "deliberate falsehoods" that have been spread in the Benjamin Lim case to blemish the police. He took particular aim at socio-political blog The Online Citizen (TOC), accusing it of a "planned, orchestrated campaign using falsehoods".

On Jan 26, the Secondary 3 student was found dead at the foot of the Housing Board block in Yishun where he lived. He had earlier been questioned by the police for allegedly molesting an 11-yr-old girl.

On Feb 1, police released a statement announcing a review into procedures for interviewing young persons, and stressed that to keep investigations discreet, officers went in plain clothes and unmarked cars to Benjamin's school.

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Shanmugam explains why police had to act swiftly in Benjamin Lim case

When police realized from closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage that the alleged molester of an 11-yr-old girl was from North View Secondary School, they acted swiftly.

They went to the school to find out the identity of the boy, who had allegedly molested the girl at an HDB lift the day before.

Should the police have waited until Benjamin Lim, 14, had gone home first?

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Death of Benjamin Lim – Minister Shanmugam slammed TOC for putting out false statements

The Law and Home Affairs Minister, K Shanmugam, took the online publication, The Online Citizen, to task in Parliament today. The following are excerpts of his speech:

“There has been a number of inaccurate statement that had been put out. We say inaccurate based on the facts the police have. Some of the inaccurate statements which are false, is that the police were not in plain clothes when they went to the school to identify Benjamin. Effectively alleging that the police were lying to Singaporeans when they put out their statement on 1 February. That allegations that Benjamin was interviewed and intimidated by five police officers. That he must have been coerced to make an admission to an offence that he did not commit. Some have even suggested that the girl may not have been molested and might have made a false police report.

A number of these falsehoods have been put out by The Online Citizen (TOC). It has gone on a planned, orchestrated campaign using falsehoods. And has published about 20 articles or so, as part of this campaign. One example of the falsehood, as I said earlier, police said on 1 February that they went down in plain clothes. Yet TOC published an article on the 5th of February, stating that police wore an attire stating the words ‘police’. Suggesting that the police were lying to Singaporeans.

Death of 14-yr-old student:Police & Minister Shanmugam unwilling to answer questions claims TOC, while Shanmugam explained why he cannot

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On Benjamin Lim: Minister for Home Affairs gave TOC and Law Society president Thio Shen Yi a shelling

In Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, everyone’s attention was turned to Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam’s speech on the curious case of the late 14-year-old Benjamin Lim.

He shared the facts of what happened (as is understood by his ministry and the Police). You can read those in our stories here, here and here.

He also spent a long time chastising sociopolitical site The Online Citizen and Law Society President Thio Shen Yi, though, for spreading falsehoods, and in particular TOC for a “campaign” he said they waged to question the conduct of the police.

Police asked Benjamin to assist in investigations after he was identified via CCTV
Home Affairs Minister gives MHA’s side of the story in the Benjamin Lim case
This is the police office cubicle where 14-year-old Benjamin Lim was interviewed

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Law Minister: ‘Police did its job, didn’t do anything wrong’

SO, WHAT exactly happened in that police station? And what came out in Parliament yesterday (March 1)? Here’s the upshot of Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam’s speech: The police didn’t do anything wrong, and did not cause Benjamin to kill himself. But, it will review its processes for interviewing young adults because of what happened. As for everyone else, don’t believe everything you read.

The papers are full of Mr Shanmugam setting the record straight – here’s a quick bite if you’re in a rush this morning. And for those who are looking for a deeper analysis of the minister’s speech, here’s what we think of what he said – and didn’t say.

(For a re-cap of the case, you can read up on our stories before the big parliamentary discussion yesterday here, and here.)

Death of a boy: Just what has been clarified?
Death of a boy and a dearth of info
Death of a boy: Facts and fiction
Teen’s suicide: Let our children never walk alone

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Law Minister’s warning: Commentators on Benjamin’s case may face prosecution from Sub Judice laws

In an attempt to silence increasing criticisms over the Singapore Police’s mishandling of the interrogation process with a minor, Singapore’s Law Minister K Shanmugam sent a chilling warning to Singaporeans who comment on the high profile suicide case that they may face prosecution from the Sub Judice laws. In a response to a MP’s enquiry, K Shanmugam reminded everyone that “the law of contempt applies both online and offline”.

The Law Minister also discredited online media, theonlinecitizen (TOC), for relentlessly following up on the case with over 20 articles published to date after weeks of blanket silence from the government. Minister K Shanmugam shot down suggestions that the government was cornered into making a response only after TOC kept following up on the case despite having the government-controlled mainstream media Singapore Press Holdings giving the news a media blackout.

“The suggestion that the Benjamin Lim case would have died down if not for social media is ridiculous.

Home Affairs Minister defend himself by slamming online media & Law Society
Benjamin’s case failed Education Minister’s SOPs

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Ministers to talk and answer questions about 14-year-old’s death in Parliament

The Parliament will hear questions from Members of Parliament surrounding the issue of the death of a 14-year-old schoolboy, Benjamin Lim who plunged to his death after being investigated by police without the accompaniment of his parents.

Two ministers, Minister of Home Affairs, K. Shanmugam and Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng are also scheduled to make their ministerial statement on the case; Mr K. Shanmugan to touch on the death of Benjamin Lim and Mr Ng to cover the issue about students under investigation.

On 26 January, fourteen-year-old Benjamin Lim Jun Hui was found dead at the base of a HDB flat where he lived. Prior to that, five plainclothes police officers showed up at Benjamin’s school on Tuesday morning and took him away for questioning for allegedly outraging the modesty of an 11-year-old girl. Benjamin’s mother was denied access to him for the whole duration of police interview.

Questions abt Benjamin Lim’s case, Home Affairs Minister & SPF cannot answer
Open letter from Benjamin’s family to clarify what transpired on 26 January
13-year-old boy locked up in detention cell with other offenders for alleged molest
SDP: Ministers’ silence on Benjamin Lim’s suicide troubling
Student said plainclothes officers at school, wore T-shirts with ‘Police’ at its back
Benjamin’s death: Out of The mouth of ministers
14-year-old jumps to his death after unaccompanied police interrogation
What MSM reported wrongly about case involving the death of 14-year-old student
Reexamine the role of school counsellors in criminal investigation of students

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Parliament to discuss Police’s mishandling leading to boy’s suicide

After weeks of silence, the Singapore government succumbed to public pressure for accountability and finally decided to discuss the Singapore Police’s mishandling which led to a 14-year-old boy.

Benjamin Lim Jun Hui, 14, committed suicide right after 5 police officers showed up at his school on the morning of Jan 26, taking him alone away for questioning over an alleged molest case of an 11-year-old girl, with no eyewitnesses, video footage or evidence. The secondary 3 school boy was taken to Ang Mo Kio police station and interrogated for more than 3 hours, before being released on a S$2,000 bail.

During the police interrogation, Benjamin was denied access to his mother by a police officer who hung up on her. It is understood that Benjamin was intimidated by the Singapore Police in the ordeal, who did appear “stunned” according to his sister. The Singapore Police however vehemently denied that the boy was in distress because he “did not exhibit any signs”.

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Police to review procedures on interviewing young persons
Authorities to decide if appropriate adult should also be present

The police will be reviewing its procedures on whether to allow an appropriate adult to be present when interviewing young persons, following the death of a 14-yr-old who died hours after he was interviewed by police officers over an alleged case of outrage of modesty.

In a statement tonight (Feb 1), the police, noting the boy’s death was “tragic”, also said they have met with the boy’s family to address their questions over the case, and provide clarifications on the actions of the police officers who spoke to their son.

The boy, a Secondary 3 student, was brought to the police station to assist in investigations into a case of outrage of modesty last Tuesday. Hours after he was released on bail and accompanied home by his mother, he was found dead at the foot of their Housing and Development Board block in Yishun.

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In this case, a Police report was lodged about a molestation. Based on CCTV evidence, Police officers went to conduct enquiries at a school. To keep investigations discreet, the officers went in plainclothes and in unmarked cars. After discussions with the school officials, and the viewing of the CCTV records, Benjamin was identified as the boy in the CCTV records. He was brought to the Principal’s office by a school official and was spoken with in the presence of a Police officer. Before he was brought back to Ang Mo Kio Division, he contacted his mother to inform her of the Police’s investigations. The Police officer also spoke to the mother.

While at Ang Mo Kio Division, he was interviewed by one Investigation Officer at his workstation in an open plan office with other workstations. He was fully cooperative during the interview. He was then released on bail and went back with his mother.

The Police have been asked whether it should review the procedure to allow an appropriate adult to be present when a young person is interviewed. The Police will review and address this issue.

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“We will not stand in the way of law,” MOE responds

The Ministry of Education (MOE) responding to media queries about the case of the 14 year-old boy who committed suicide after police investigations said today that schools in Singapore are obligated to cooperate with the police.

Schools will try to ensure the well-being of their students in assisting the police with their investigations, but will “not stand in the way of law”, said MOE. There is also a a set of guidelines “which corresponds to the police’s guidelines on working with minors” the Ministry’s spokesperson said.

“This includes ascertaining the identities of the police officers who approach our schools,” MOE said. It explained that the school would speak to its student before the police speaks with him or her.

related: Did police presume 14-yr-old was guilty at the onset of investigations?

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Death of 14-yr-old: Experts welcome police review on procedures for questioning youth

Social workers, lawyers and psychologists have welcomed a decision by the Singapore Police Force to review its procedures when interviewing a minor.

It comes after a 14-yr-old boy called Benjamin was found dead at the foot of his Housing Board block in Yishun on Jan 26, 90 minutes after being released from Ang Mo Kio Police Division, where he was questioned regarding an alleged molestation case.

No adult was present at his interview as there is no legal requirement for that in such cases here.

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The bizarre behaviour of the Honourable Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam

"Nero fiddled while Rome burned". This famous quote could not be more poetic in portraying the bizarre reticence of the Honourable Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam when the whole of Singapore is agitated and livid over the questionable tactics of the police in the handling of the case  of a 14-year-old student Benjamin Lim which resulted in his tragic suicide. Minister K. Shanmugam is known to be very loquacious at other times especially in his crusade against the cruelty of cats. Does this mean that a human life is less worthy than a cat in his lofty views? Just like the Chinese saying: To treat the people like grass.(視人民如草芥).

A young life has been cut short which could be attributed to his traumatised experience at the hand of the police. While Singaporeans are questioning the antiquated police procedure in dealing with a minor and are waiting for a decent answer from the police, it is beyond logic and belief that the Honourable Minister K. Shanmugam could be turning a deaf ear to all these deafening rumblings by Singaporeans for social justice.

The public would certainly like to know what he has to say about the questionable police tactics and the tragic suicide of the minor. The police department comes under his control and it is incumbent upon him to give his unbiased views on the issue.

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“I wanna be friends with you in my next life”, grieves friend of 14-year-old who committed suicide after police interrogation

Socio-political website, The Online Citizen, yesterday published an article which detailed how a 14-year-old boy jumped to his death, off a ledge outside his 14th-floor flat in Yishun, after unaccompanied police interrogation in a case of outrage of modesty.

A person who claims to be the friend of the boy who died, has now expressed grief in the most heartbreaking way in a comment to the article.

Kenneth Tan said, “Ben you were my most loyal friend. We’ve met since day 1 of sec 1 we often quarrel but those were my precious moments. If possible i wanna be friends with you on my next life.

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Police investigating 'unnatural death' of 14-year-old boy

The fact that the priest prayed over his spirit, yet his eyes keep RE-OPENING suggest very clearly that even after death, he is sending a message strongly across to his parents that he has been wrongly accused.
His death is already un-natural enough. But the fact that his eyes kept RE-OPENING made it even more UN-Natural. It only means one thing. He want his parents to continue pursue the Truth, even after he died.
A person can lie all he want, when he is alive on earth. But NOBODY in death still continue remain to lie.

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14-yr-old boy dies in Yishun the same day he was investigated for outrage of modesty: Teens may not know their legal rights

Should parents or guardians be present when the police question a young accused person? The issue surfaced after a 14-yr-old boy's death in Yishun on Tuesday.

The Secondary 3 boy was being investigated for molest before he fell from his 14th-storey window. He had been taken into police custody and released on bail on the same day of his death.

His mother said he had admitted to the crime during the police interview.

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Teens may not know their legal rights: Teen death in Yishun raises issue

Should parents or guardians be present when the police question a young accused person? The issue surfaced after a 14-year-old boy's death in Yishun on Tuesday. The Secondary 3 boy was being investigated for molest before he fell from his 14th-storey window. He had been taken into police custody and released on bail on the same day of his death. His mother said he had admitted to the crime during the police interview. But when she later probed him, she said he told her: "I did not do it, but since everyone thinks that I did it, then I did it." We are not identifying the boy, his family or his school as he was a minor.

14-year-old boy found dead at foot of HDB block in Yishun. Police are investigating the unnatural death of a 14-year-old boy whose body was found beneath an HDB block in Yishun on Tuesday (Jan 26).

Earlier that day, the secondary school student had been brought to Ang Mo Kio Police Division to assist with investigations into an alleged criminal offence reported on Monday (Jan 25). According to The Straits Times, the case was an alleged outrage of modesty. The boy's father told Shin Min Daily News that his son had been recently accused of molesting a girl.

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Teen found dead after police investigation for molest

Should parents or guardians be present when the police question a young accused person?

The issue surfaced after a 14-yr-old boy's death in Yishun on Tuesday. The Secondary 3 boy was being investigated for molest before he fell from his 14th-storey window.

He had been taken into police custody and released on bail on the same day of his death.

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14-yr-old boy found dead at foot of HDB block in Yidhun

His parents want to know why he was questioned by the police without their presence.

Should'nt parents or guardians be present when a young accused person is questioned by the police?

According to current practice, there is no need for it to be so.

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Boy’s death – a police review of procedures not enough

The death of a 14-year old boy now puts the question of access to lawyers for an accused at the doorstep of Parliament.

The boy, a secondary three student, had apparently committed suicide after being interviewed by the police for an alleged offence of “molestation”. That was the offence he is deemed to have committed, according to the police statement released on 1 February 2016. (See here.)

The police also said that it “will review and address” the issue of whether “to allow an appropriate adult to be present when a young person is interviewed.”

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The police could show more compassion and finesse in dealing with teenagers

The tragic suicide of a 14-year-old teenager Benjamin Lim has struck a raw nerve among Singaporeans about questionable police methods of interrogation of teenagers. The manner in which Benjamin Lim was hauled from his school by five burly plainclothes police officers for a suspected molestation offence for interrogation could not but cause consternation to the public by the display of excessive intimidatory tactics by the police.

The question uppermost in the public mind is whether it was necessary to send such massive police manpower to the school in the first place to deal with a minor? Was it not a clear case of wasteful use of resources when a single police officer would have been more than adequate.

 At the police station Benjamin Lim was subjected to more than three hours of interrogation without any of his guardian being present. He was released after interrogation and went straight home, only to jump out of his window to his death. The only conclusion that could be drawn was that he was over-traumatised by his traumatised experience at the hand of the police. An innocent life has been tragically lost at such a young age.

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Full Coverage:
Coroner's inquiry: Court shown video of alleged molestation
Coroner's inquiry not a criminal trial
Benjamin Lim case: Father disputes report that son molested girl
Boy 'calm during police interview, fidgety after phone call with mum'
Teen told to skip camp so he could get family support
Benjamin death inquiry: Different accounts of events on day teen died
Benjamin Lim showed no signs of distress prior to death, Coroner's Inquiry
Coroner's inquiry: Principal says he appeared calm in office
Coroner's inquiry: Differing accounts from school and family
Benjamin Lim denied molesting the 11-year-old girl, Inquiry hears
Contradictory statements from school and mother about school camp
The difference between 'brush' & 'touch'
Events leading up to Benjamin Lim's death
Teen who committed suicide after arrest 'behaved normally' earlier
Benjamin Lim showed no signs of distress prior to death, Coroner'sCoroner's inquiry into Benjamin Lim's death: Contradictory
Benjamin Lim – What happened at the Coroner's Inquiry today
Benjamin Lim's death: Police officer testifies
Coroner's inquiry into Benjamin Lim's death: Police, school ensured
Benjamin Lim showed no signs of emotional distress or instability
No substantive comment on Benjamin Lim case 'out of respect for
The Benjamin Lim case: What happened?
CAN: Statement on the Law Minister's speech about the death of
Death of Benjamin Lim – Minister Shanmugam slammed TOC for
Benjamin Lim case: Doing right by two young lives
K Shanmugam slams 'falsehoods, politicisation' of Benjamin Lim case
Was TODAY's report on Benjamin Lim in contempt of the Sub Judice

Coroner's inquiry into Benjamin Lim's death: Differing accounts from
Major questions on minor's treatment
Death of a boy and a dearth of info
Filling the information vacuum responsibly
Case of the 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after police

Teen's death: This is a very sad case
Police to review interview procedure after death of student under molest probe
SPF to review questions on procedure after 14-year-old boy's death
Police to review the way youth are questioned
Police will review procedure for questioning young persons; whether...
Yishun teen death: Police to review interview procedure
Police asked to review procedure for questioning young persons
Police to review procedures on interviewing young persons
Police to review procedures for interviewing young persons
Police to review procedures on police interviews with minors
Case of 14-yr boy who committed suicide-Coroner's Inquiry to be held says Police
Schools will seek to ensure well-being of students assisting police investigations
Schools must cooperate with police, but also have a duty of care to students: MOE
MOE: Schools obligated to cooperate with police and not stand in the way of law
“We will not stand in the way of law,” MOE responds
Schools will seek to ensure well-being of students assisting investigations: MOE

Rights If Your Child is Arrested

There are a number of rights that apply specifically to children under the age of 17 who are arrested. Parents should be aware of these rights that begin as soon as the child is arrested.

Child Arrest in the UK
  • Just over 200,000 children are arrested in the UK each year, according to Home Office statistics. The average age of the children arrested is between 10 and 17 years old. Children at this age will usually not be aware of their rights when arrested. It is important that parents, guardians and anyone who is responsible for children know the rights children have when arrested. These rights begin when the child is arrested and continue to the court proceedings stage.
Informing a Parent When a Child Is Arrested
  • If a child is arrested for committing a criminal offence and they are under 17, the police must inform the parents as soon as possible. Children who are arrested should be made aware of their rights when they are first brought to the police station. One of these rights will be that a parent or guardian can be informed of the arrest straight away. Children under the age of 17 also have the right to have an adult present at the police station. Children should also be allowed to talk to this adult in private if they wish to do so.
Children’s Rights and Police Interviews
  • The police should not begin interviews if the child has requested that an adult such as a parent is present. If no adult is present the police may interview the child under certain circumstances. It may be the case that delaying an interview would mean that further crime could be committed such as harm to another person. If this is the case then the police may well interview the child in the presence of an appropriate adult. Steps should be taken first to contact the child’s parent before the interview takes place.
Detention Time Limits at a Police Station
  • If the police believe a child has committed an offence they can hold the child for 24 hours. But this is not the maximum time period a child can be held for. A further 12 hours can be added to the 24 hour period if the crime committed is of a serious nature. The police can actually ask the court for an extended period of detention. But this extended period cannot be longer than 96 hours before the child is charged with an offence.
Searches at the Police Station
  • The police do have the right to search a child under the age of 18 at the police station. If all clothing is to be removed during the search an adult of the same sex must carry out this search. Intimate searches can only be held in private where no one else can see the search. The child does have the right to have an adult such as a parent present during the search. This search can be conducted at any time whilst the child is held at the police station.
Obtaining Fingerprints from Children
  • The police can take fingerprints and photographs if the child is over 16. If the child is under 14 the police will need permission from the parent to proceed with fingerprinting. Children aged 15 and 16 will need to agree along with the parent’s agreement for fingerprinting to take place. Children over the age of 16 will be required to submit to fingerprints and photographs even if they have not agreed.
Intimate Samples Taken By the Police
  • If the police are intending to take hair and saliva samples then they must have the agreement of the child and parent if no charges have been made. If charges have been made then these samples can be taken without agreement from the child or parent. Blood and urine samples cannot be taken unless both the parent and the child have agreed to this. Even if the child has been charged they cannot be forced to give these intimate samples.
Children Under 17 Years and Court Proceedings
  • If a child is 10 years old then they cannot be charged with an offence and taken to court. Children over 10 years old but under 17 years will be treated as a young offender and criminal cases will be dealt with by the youth courts. If the child has committed an offence and an adult was also involved then the court proceedings can be held in either the magistrate’s or the Crown courts.
  • The expertise of a legal advisor should always be sought if a child has been arrested. The Children’s Law Centre will be able to provide free help and advice to parents of children who have been arrested or charged with a criminal offence.
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United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty


17. Juveniles who are detained under arrest or awaiting trial ("untried") are presumed innocent and shall be treated as such. Detention before trial shall be avoided to the extent possible and limited to exceptional circumstances. Therefore, all efforts shall be made to apply alternative measures. When preventive detention is nevertheless used, juvenile courts and investigative bodies shall give the highest priority to the most expeditious processing of such cases to ensure the shortest possible duration of detention. Untried detainees should be separated from convicted juveniles.
18. The conditions under which an untried juvenile is detained should be
consistent with the rules set out below, with additional specific provisions
as are necessary and appropriate, given the requirements of the presumption of
innocence, the duration of the detention and the legal status and
circumstances of the juvenile.  These provisions would include, but not
necessarily be restricted to, the following:
  • Juveniles should have the right of legal counsel and be enabled to apply for free legal aid, where such aid is available, and to communicate regularly with their legal advisers.  Privacy and confidentiality shall be ensured for such communications;
  • Juveniles should be provided, where possible, with opportunities to pursue work, with remuneration, and continue education or training, but should not be required to do so.  Work, education or training should not cause the continuation of the detention;
  • Juveniles should receive and retain materials for their leisure and recreation as are compatible with the interests of the administration of justice.
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