River Valley High School death: Accused speaks to parents for first time since being remanded

The 16-year-old student was charged on July 20 with the murder of a 13-year-old schoolmate at River Valley High School.
PHOTO: The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE - A 16-year-old student from River Valley High School charged with the murder of a schoolmate spoke to his parents via a video call on Friday (Aug 13) for the first time since being remanded.

"Police arranged for a video call between the accused and his parents, and the call took place earlier today," said an Attorney-General's Chambers spokesman in a statement on Friday.

The call follows the student's last appearance in the State Courts via video link on Tuesday, where his lawyers requested that his parents and family members be granted five minutes to speak with him so they could check on his well-being.

The prosecution objected to the request at that time, telling the court that the teen faced a capital charge and investigations were still ongoing.

District Judge Brenda Tan denied the defence's request, noting that arrangements for the accused to speak with his parents could be made at an appropriate time.

On Tuesday, the accused, who cannot be named as he is under 18 years of age, was remanded for two more weeks at the Complex Medical Centre at Changi Prison for psychiatric evaluation. He has been in remand at the medical centre since he was charged.

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The teen was charged on July 20 with the murder of the 13-year-old schoolmate at a level-four toilet in the school between 11.16am and 11.44am the previous day.

The court was then told that he had been assessed at the Institute of Mental Health in 2019 after attempting suicide.

The case has been adjourned to Aug 24.

Those found guilty of murder can receive the death penalty. However, those aged below 18 will be given life imprisonment instead.

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