An 18-year-old who beat up smaller foreign workers to practise his martial arts skills and even taunted them, could yet face a longer sentence after the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) filed a notice of appeal yesterday.
On Monday, Daryl Lim Jun Liang was given a short detention order of 10 days by a district judge for attacking two foreign workers last year - acts which Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday described as "completely unacceptable".
Speaking at the sidelines of an event by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Shanmugam said: "(The foreign workers) have come here and are helping us build our infrastructure.
"Instead of being grateful to them, and recognising that they're doing a hard job... to help their families, we go and attack them, it's bullying of somebody who's vulnerable.
"It's sickening conduct, the kind of conduct that you would not approve if somebody did it to animals."
The minister also wrote about it on his Facebook page, adding: "I hope that people who think and behave like Daryl are a tiny minority."
Last year, Lim, together with two 15-year-old friends and another who is 18, had in separate incidents targeted a Chinese and an Indian worker, because they were smaller and deemed less likely to fight back.
Lim even mocked the victims by dancing in front of them.
A short detention order involves a short stint in jail but is intended to be less disruptive and stigmatising.
On Monday, district judge Lim Keng Yeow also ordered Lim to report to a supervision officer every day for a year. He also has to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am for a year and perform 150 hours of community service.
The judge noted that Lim, a student, had a supportive family and was at low risk of being a repeat offender.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai had urged the court to send Lim to the Reformative Training Centre, where a stint lasts between 18 and 30 months.
He argued that the attacks were unprovoked and premeditated and that a deterrent sentence was needed in the light of the increase in the number of youth crimes involving violence.
If the prosecution decides to proceed with the appeal, it will next file a petition of appeal.
The two 15-year-olds, who cannot be named due to a gag order, are on 18 months' probation.
The case involving the other accomplice, Tan Jun Liang, is pending.
Additional reporting by Hoe Pei Shan.
This article was first published on April 23, 2015.
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