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16-year-old punches mum repeatedly for not waking him up earlier on exam day

16-year-old punches mum repeatedly for not waking him up earlier on exam day
The boy also received help at the Institute of Mental Health, where he was assessed to have anxiety issues.
PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao file

SINGAPORE – A 16-year-old boy who assaulted his mother multiple times in 2022 and caused her to suffer a rib fracture was sentenced to two years’ probation on Feb 5.

The mother had silently endured her son’s abuse while her husband, who witnessed the attacks, did not intervene.

On one occasion, the boy pulled his mother into the kitchen and threatened her with a chopper, telling her “I will kill you”.

His brother, who was 18 then, told him he would get in trouble and advised him to put the chopper aside. He complied before the police arrived at their flat, where the boy lived with his parents and brother.

The accused, who is now 17, and the victim cannot be named as there is a gag order to protect their identities.

The boy pleaded guilty in June 2023 to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt, one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt, and another charge of criminal intimidation. Two charges of voluntarily causing hurt were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The offences took place between March and November 2022.

As part of his sentence, which was meted out on Feb 5, the boy has to perform 100 hours of community service and live at Singapore Boys’ Hostel for a year.

According to court documents, the boy had anger management issues from 2019.

The boy was frequently violent only towards his mother and would physically assault her once every two to three weeks.

Concerned for his well-being, his parents had him referred to a family service centre for counselling. He also received help at the Institute of Mental Health, where he was assessed to have anxiety issues.

He committed the offences after he stopped attending the counselling sessions in December 2021.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min said that in October 2022, the teen stayed up to study for his O-level examinations until about 5am.

He got up at 10am, and was angry at his mother for not waking him up earlier as he had an English exam that day. He then punched her several times.

Following the incident, the victim arranged for her son to meet his counsellor in November 2022.

She set alarms at 15-minute intervals to wake him up on time for the counselling session. But this angered the boy and he smashed the alarm clock.

The victim ended up attending the counselling session by herself. When she returned home later that day, he accused her of not waking him up for the appointment.

He was undergoing a guidance programme at the time, and missing a counselling session meant the programme would be extended.

The boy flew into a rage and rained blows on his mother, hitting her in the ribcage area, face and head.


She suffered bleeding from her inner lip, and a medical report later revealed that her left rib was fractured.

Despite this, the victim did not report her son’s actions to the police.

A few weeks later, the two of them were in his bedroom discussing which school he should enrol in after his O levels when he became agitated because his mother could not answer some of his questions about the school’s curriculum.

He then hit her on the head with a hardcover report book and punched her in the face. She ran into her bedroom, locked herself inside and called the police.

However, her son found the key to the bedroom, opened the door and pulled her into the kitchen, threatening her with a chopper.

Defence lawyer Justin Ng previously told the court that his client recognises that what he did was wrong.

The teen now lives apart from his mother, and has not shown any violence towards other family members, added Ng.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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