Teen in HDB rooftop graffiti case gets 15-month probation

SINGAPORE  -A teenager who abetted his four friends in vandalising the rooftop of a Toa Payoh Housing Board block was placed on 15 months' probation yesterday.

Probation was recommended for David William Graaskov, 18, after he pleaded guilty to three of six charges - theft of four spray cans as well as criminal trespass at Marina Bay Suites and a construction site in Balestier.

His alleged accomplices - Boaz Koh Wen Jie, Reagan Tan Chang Zhi, Chay Nam Shen and Goh Rong Liang, all 18 - will have their cases mentioned in the Community Court tomorrow.

The court had heard that the group stole the spray cans worth $12 from a lorry parked in the carpark of Block 54, Toa Payoh Lorong 5, at about 11.45pm on May 6 last year. It was then suggested among the group that they should go and spray the rooftop of Block 85A in Lorong 4.

Although Graaskov had agreed to take part in the vandalism, he did not do so. He realised it was getting late and left the group to catch the last bus home.

The next morning, a resident called the police hotline to report that there was graffiti at the top of Block 85A. It was directed against the People's Action Party and splashed across a large, flat wall panel.

Further investigation showed that Graaskov was also involved in other offences. He trespassed on the Marina Bay Suites condominium with three others on March 29 last year. They managed to access the condo lobby, and took a lift to the highest floor. From there, they climbed a staircase to the rooftop to chat and smoke for about an hour.

Some time between October and December 2013, the four climbed over the gate of a construction site in Jalan Rajah to get onto a crane where they stayed for about two hours.

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow yesterday told Graaskov he was prepared to accept the probation officer's recommendations and give him one chance to undergo probation.

The teen could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined for theft. For criminal trespass, he could have been jailed for up to three months and/or fined up to $1,500 per charge.

The judge ordered Graaskov, who was in court with his family, to stay indoors from 10pm to 6am and perform 80 hours of community service. Both his parents were each bonded for $5,000 to ensure his good behaviour.

This article was first published on January 27, 2015.
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