SINGAPORE, Aug 24 — The psychiatric assessment for a Secondary 4 student of River Valley High School accused of murdering a Sec 1 student on campus has been completed, though details of the findings have not been revealed.
The 16-year-old, who appeared in a district court via a video-link, will now be remanded at the Police Cantonment Complex for another seven days, District Judge Terence Tay ruled today.
The judge also ruled that he can be brought out for investigations within this period.
The teenager has been in remand in Changi Prison’s Complex Medical Centre for the psychiatric evaluation since he was charged on July 20, the day after the alleged murder.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Ghohulabalan said that the police will be arranging for the teenager to speak to his family again “at the appropriate juncture”.
He was last allowed to speak to his parents through a video call arranged by the police on Aug 13. That was the first time he had spoken to them since he was charged.
His lawyer, Sunil Sudheesan, told the court: “I just want to tell the accused person that I will be seeing him soon and his parents will be seeing him very soon.”
The teenager will return to court on Aug 31.
Neither he nor his alleged 13-year-old victim can be named, as the law forbids the publication of identities of young persons under 18 who are involved in court proceedings.
Murder, punishable under Section 302(1) of the Penal Code, typically carries the death penalty in Singapore.
However, under the Criminal Procedure Code, convicted offenders below 18 will be sentenced to life imprisonment instead.
What allegedly happened
Court documents stated that the alleged murder took place on July 19 between 11.16am and 11.45am at a toilet on the fourth level of the school.
No details were given on how the boy died but the police said that they had seized an axe.
Initial investigations suggested that the suspect had bought the axe online and that the two students did not know each other.
In the week following the incident, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing gave an account of what happened that day, saying that a group of students saw the suspect outside a toilet towards the end of lunch break at about 11.35am.
He was holding an axe and asked them to call the police.
The students returned to their classroom and told their teacher about this immediately.
The 16-year-old later made the same request to another group of students in the classroom next to the toilet.
A teacher who arrived at the scene instructed him to put down the axe. He complied and was escorted to a meeting room, after which other teachers called the police and checked the toilet.
The younger boy was found motionless with “many wounds” and was pronounced dead there, Chan said.
The court previously heard that the suspect is a former patient at the Institute of Mental Health and that the police had attended to a case of attempted suicide by him in 2019.
The following are resources if you or someone you know needs help for mental health-related issues.
Samaritans of Singapore (24-hour hotline): 1800-221-4444
Community Health Assessment Team: 6493 6500/01 or click on the webchat icon at chat.mentalhealth.sg
Singapore Association for Mental Health helpline: 1800-283-7019