PP v WV (a minor)

JudgeCarrie Chan Su-Lin
Judgment Date21 January 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] SGJC 3
CourtJuvenile Court (Singapore)
Published date02 May 2008
Plaintiff CounselINSP Ting Nge Kong
Defendant CounselAmeerjeet Singh / N. Srinivasan (Hoh Law Corporation)
Citation[2008] SGJC 3

21 January 2008

Magistrate Carrie Chan Su-Lin


1. On 21 November 2007, WV, a male juvenile aged 15 years and 10 months (the “Juvenile”), pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking a Class “C” controlled drug (nimetazepam). After admitting to the facts in support of the charge, the Juvenile was found guilty and the matter was adjourned to 18 December 2007 for the Probation Report to be prepared.

2. On 18 December 2007, the Juvenile was present in court with his parents. The Court, in consultation with the Panel of Advisers considered the Probation Report and the suitability of the Juvenile for probation. In addition, the mitigation plea submitted by counsel was carefully considered. Pursuant to section 44(1)(i) of the Children and Young Persons Act (Cap. 38)(“CYPA”), it was ordered that the Juvenile be admitted to the Singapore Boys’ Home (“SBH”), an Approved School for 24 months. In addition, the Juvenile’s parents were ordered under section 44(1)(d) CYPA to execute a bond of $2000.00 to exercise proper care and guardianship and to abide by the order made in relation to the Juvenile’s welfare, maintenance and rehabilitation.

3. The Juvenile or the parent is appealing against the Order. I shall now set out the reasons for my decision.

The Charge

Charge – Exhibit “P1”

You, WV, M/15 yrs, DOB: 24.01.1992, are charged that you, on 14th day of August 2007, at about 11.00pm, at the back lane next to Lorong 23 Geylang, together with one B2, and in furtherance of the common intention of you both, did traffic in a controlled drug specified in Class “C” of the First Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act, Cap. 185, as well as a specified drug listed in the Fourth Schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act, Cap.185, to wit, by selling ten tablets each marked “028” on one side and “5” on the other side containing nimetazepam to Corporal Hui Wai Mun, an officer of the Central Narcotics Bureau for $80/- at the aforesaid place without any authorization under the said Act or the Regulations made thereunder and you have therefore committed an offence under Section 5(1)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Cap. 185 read with section 34 of the Penal Code Cap. 224, and punishable under Section 33 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Cap. 185.

The Facts

4. The Juvenile admitted to the Statement of Facts (exhibit “A”) adduced in support of the charge without qualification. The facts are as follows:

(a) On 14 August 2007 at about 11.05 pm, a party of Central Narcotics Bureau (“CNB”) officers arrested the Juvenile together with B2 and B3 at the backlane of Geylang Lorong 23 for selling 10 nimetazepam tablets to an undercover CNB officer (“CNB officer”).

(b) On 14 August 2007 at about 6.10 pm, an undercover CNB officer contacted B2 to buy one strip of Erimin 5 tablets. B2 quoted a price of $80.00 and they agreed to meet at Aljunied MRT station that same evening. The Juvenile was with B2 when he received this call from the undercover CNB officer.

(c) In furtherance of the common intention to traffic in the controlled drug, that same night at about 10.45 pm, the Juvenile together with B2 arrived at the vicinity of Aljunied MRT where they met the undercover CNB officer. The CNB officer handed over $80.00 (in marked notes) to B2. After collecting the money, B2 gave the $80.00 to the Juvenile and instructed him to meet B3 at a coffee shop in Geylang Lorong 23. B2 instructed the Juvenile to give B3 $70.00 and in return to collect the drug from B3 and thereafter wait for his call. The Juvenile met B3 and handed over $70.00 to B3 who handed over the drug to him.

(d) A short while later, B2 called the Juvenile to warn him to be careful as there were enforcement officers in the vicinity. On hearing this, the Juvenile informed B2 that he would place the drug at the “yellow box” used for storing gas cylinders located at the back alley of the “Bee Cheng Hiang” barbequed pork shop which is located along Geylang Lorong 23.

(e) Later, B2 led the CNB officer to the back alley where the “yellow box” was located. The Juvenile was standing in the vicinity and on seeing B2 and the CNB officer searching for the drug, the Juvenile pointed out the location where the drug was placed. The CNB officer retrieved the drug and left the place. The Juvenile gave the remaining $10/- marked noted to B2 and both of them walked to the coffee shop to join B3 where they were subsequently arrested. A search was conducted on the 3 accused persons and the officers recovered the $10/- marked noted from B2 and the remaining $70/- marked note from B3.

(f) The Juvenile admitted that he had sold the drug to the CNB officer for the price of $80/- and in doing so he was not authorized to traffic in a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.


5. No antecedants.

The Mitigation Plea

6. The following factors were highlighted in the written mitigation plea submitted by counsel:

(a) He comes from a closely knit family who are willing to take responsibility as this has been a wake up call for them.

(b) He is an average student in school and has a cheerful and friendly disposition. He had no major trouble in school.

(c) The accused in a moment of foolishness got involved in this episode and admits to the charge. He has no past criminal antecedants.

(d) The accused did not seriously reflect about the legal and social consequences of his actions. He is sincerely remorseful. His family have seriously censured him and he resolves not to ever be led astray. As a result of this episode, he has signed an agreement with the school to abide to improve his behaviour.

(e) His role in the incident was that of a mere pawn. He was not the mastermind and his 17 year old accomplice was the one who made and received the calls and ultimately arranged the meeting to sell the Erimin tablets. The accused did not participate in the conversation that B2 had with the buyer. He had assisted in obtaining the tablets from B3 as B2 had a pain in the leg.

(f) He regrets his actions and has completely cooperated with the police throughout the investigation.

The Legislative Framework

7. Under Section 44(1) of the CYPA, the Juvenile Court is empowered to make orders for juveniles where an offence has been proved or where the juvenile admits the facts constituting the offence. During this process, the Juvenile Court takes into consideration the welfare of the offender. Section 28 of the CYPA provides that the court shall have regard to the welfare of the Juvenile and where deemed necessary, to take proper steps to remove him from his undesirable surroundings as well as ensure adequate provision for his education and training. Section 28 states:

28. —(1) Every court in dealing with a child or young person who is brought before it, either as being in need of care or protection, or as an offender or otherwise, shall have regard to the welfare of the child or young person and shall, in a proper case, take steps for removing him from undesirable surroundings, and for securing that proper provision is made for his education and training.

8. The Juvenile Court must therefore do more than simply impose the order which is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. The paramount consideration must be how the young offender can be reformed, rehabilitated and re-integrated into society and how provisions may be made for his education and training. The Court must be acutely aware of the Juvenile’s individual strengths, weaknesses and limitations so that the order of the Court may be effective towards these purposes. Section 42 (9) of the CYPA provides that before deciding on the appropriate order, the Juvenile Court may obtain such information as to his family background, general conduct, home surroundings, school record, medical history and state of development, as may enable it to deal with the case in the best interests of the child. It is for this purpose that the court calls for the report prepared by the Probation Officer (“Probation Report”).

Determining the Appropriate Order


9. The issue before the court was whether probation was the appropriate order for the Juvenile. The officer from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Ms Wong Liling (“Ms Wong”) submitted the Probation Report highlighting the background of the Juvenile, his school record and risks. His risk of re-offending was assessed to be moderate. However, the extreme severity of his offence was noted. She assessed the Juvenile to be unsuitable for probation.

10. Ms Wong carefully investigated the Juvenile’s suitability and ability to respond to Probation. Ms Wong interviewed the Juvenile three times - twice, in MCYS and once during a home visit. Ms Wong also interviewed the parents and the Juvenile’s siblings. Further, Ms Wong obtained information from the Central Narcotics Bureau and the school attended by the Juvenile.

11. A probation order may be made by the Juvenile Court pursuant to section 44 (1)(e) of the CYPA. Probation, which aims to secure rehabilitation through community intervention is provided under section 5(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act (Cap 252):

5(1) Where a court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence (not being an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law) is of the opinion that having regard to the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT