Youths ask for lenient sentences to get them 'over and done with'

A Community Court judge yesterday ticked off two youths for their attitude and behaviour in court after they were convicted of joining an unlawful assembly with a deadly weapon in January.

After pleading guilty to the offence, Garrick Ng Kai Le, 18, and Lim Jia Cai, 17, had the audacity to ask for lenient sentences.

Ng, who had two previous convictions and committed his latest offence while on probation for giving false information to a public servant, asked for a short sentence so he could "get (this) over and done with".

Similarly, Lim, who had been sentenced to 24 months' probation in 2011, told the court in mitigation that he hoped for a lenient sentence so he could "get over with it".

This did not sit well with Community Court Judge Lim Keng Yeow, who rapped them: "What kind of attitude is this?"

Raising his voice, he told Lim: "When there are consequences for you to face, you don't simply 'get over them'."

A third accomplice, Brendon Siak Kai Jun, 16, also pleaded guilty yesterday.

They were part of a group that had met a rival group for settlement talks on Jan 29 at Block 635, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, after Siak's girlfriend got into a dispute with someone.

When Siak's group arrived at about 8.30pm, a 15-year-old girl from his group told a 15-year-old boy from the rival group that he had to pay for their taxi fare since he had called for the talks.


He refused and a member of Siak's group, Chua Weijie Josiah, 17, took him to the side and showed him a knife in his jacket pocket.

Chua told him that all the males in his group had knives and they would not lose in the event of a fight.

As they were talking, another member of Siak's group punched the boy in the eye, causing it to swell. The boy did not seek medical treatment.

By the time the police arrived, the other group had fled.

After searching the vicinity, the police found a silver foldable knife, a black card knife, two black foldable knives and two red foldable knives.

Ng admitted to taking a red foldable knife, which he kept in his trouser pocket, whereas Lim took two foldable knives to the settlement talks.

When he turned up in court yesterday, Ng, who wore glasses and had copper-tinged hair, looked around and smiled.

After details about the case were read out in court, Ng and Lim told the court that they did not see the victim's eye swell, but they were "willing to accept the SOF (statement of facts)".

Lim had a mitigation letter written by his mother.

Asking the court to grant him probation again, she said: "(My son) has improved in attitude and behaviour. I'm asking the court for a chance.

"If he still doesn't listen to me, then I'll ask the court for help."

Siak's mother also wrote a mitigation letter on his behalf and addressed the court, asking for her son to be given probation if possible because he is "still very young".

The three, who were taken into remand after the hearing, will be sentenced on April 30.

The two other co-accused's cases are still pending.

What they told judge

Lim Jia Cai: I hope for a lenient sentence so I can get over with it.

Judge Lim Keng Yeow: What do you mean? A sentence is not something you get over with!

When there are consequences for you to face, you don't simply 'get over them'.

Lim: I'm sorry. (But) if I go to RTC (reformative training centre), I will mix with more bad company.

Garrick Ng Kai Le: I hope I'll get (this) over and done with.

Judge Lim: What kind of attitude is this? Stop and think, are you here to take responsibility, or are you here to 'get it over and done with'?

Someone here to take responsibility does not say words like these.

This article was first published on April 11, 2015.
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