Public Prosecutor v ATW (A Minor)

CourtJuvenile Court (Singapore)
JudgeLim Keng Yeow
Judgment Date23 September 2011
Neutral Citation[2011] SGJC 2
Citation[2011] SGJC 2
Hearing Date23 September 2011
Published date29 September 2011
Docket NumberHSA 404/11 (HSA 403/11 and 496/11 TIC), Magistrates’ Appeal No. 207 of 2011
Plaintiff CounselRaymond Yiow
Defendant CounselThe Juvenile in person
District Judge Lim Keng Yeow: The Charges

On 20 Jul 2011, ATW (“the juvenile”) pleaded guilty to the following charge:

HSA 404/11

You, ATW, F/15yrs, DOB: XXX 1995 are charged that you, on 4 Dec 2010 at or about 3.00pm, outside the Burger King fast-food outlet located at xxx, being a person below the age of 18 years, did use a tobacco product, to wit a stick of Viceroy Menthol cigarette, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 11(1) of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, Chapter 309.

The offender admitted to one other charge of possession of tobacco products and consented for it to be taken into consideration by the court. The matter was adjourned after a Probation Report (“PR”) was called for. On the day orders were to be made, a further charge of possession of a tobacco product was preferred. The prosecution applied for it to be taken into consideration and the juvenile consented. The Orders

On 23 Aug 2011, after considering the PR and hearing the views of the Juvenile Court advisors, I accepted the recommendations and made an order placing the juvenile on 15 months’ probation with the requirement (inter alia) that for the first 9 months, she is to reside in an approved institution (Gracehaven hostel). I understand that an appeal is now filed against this ‘hostel residence’ requirement.

Fundamental Considerations

The Juvenile Court seeks to act with judicious parsimony with juveniles in that it is does not to impose severe orders and onerous conditions where less severe and onerous ones are sufficient. Since this is so, and to pursue rehabilitation and restoration, probation is generally the preferred option.

Where probation is ordered, the court makes the order with the expectation and hope that the juvenile will not only complete it successfully, but also to emerge from it with a better chance of doing well in the years leading up to adulthood. Ultimately, the aim of court orders is to help the juvenile succeed, not only in probation, but also in life.

To achieve that, it is important to assemble a package of conditions and requirements accompanying probation that is tailored to the needs of the juvenile in question and best supports the juvenile, giving the juvenile the highest chance of completing probation well and benefitting from it.

Residence in an Approved Institution (or “Hostel”)

While home probation in the juvenile’s natural environment is generally the favoured...

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