ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – A 14-year-old boy, who made a weapon using a kitchen knife and bamboo pole, had threatened to carry out a stabbing in his school in Singapore.
The boy, now 15, has pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally causing alarm by making a threatening communication and was sentenced to six months in a juvenile rehabilitation centre.
Court documents on January 26 stated that the boy had set a photo of the makeshift weapon as his WhatsApp profile picture.
It was seen some time in 2022 by his classmates and form teacher, who alerted his mother.
As the boy was “known to go berserk suddenly”, his mother feared for the safety of herself and her bedridden husband.
She reported the incident to the police the next day.
The police arrived to find that the boy had locked himself in his room and refused to open the door.
When the police unlocked the door with a key, he was found brandishing the makeshift weapon.
He was arrested without putting up a struggle.
The boy was diagnosed with social communication disorder and adjustment disorder, but was found to be of sound mind.
According to court documents, the boy had extreme views on terrorism and radicalisation, and expressed thoughts of harming himself and his schoolmates.
He also took sharp objects such as a knife and sewing kit to school.
In one incident, when he was reminded to submit his homework, he threw his mobile phone out of the classroom window.
He had also been known to throw a canned drink and swing a metal flask at his mother.
The judge concluded that probation was unsuitable for the boy as he does not have adequate family support and supervision, with his father being bedridden from paralysis after an accident, while his mother terrified of and unable to control him.
The mother had supplied the kitchen knife he used for the makeshift weapon after giving in to his demands.
She also delayed reporting the matter to the police, the judge noted.
The prosecution argued that the boy should be placed in a juvenile rehabilitation centre for 24 months, but the judge said this was disproportionate to the gravity of the offence.
The boy, who has appealed against the sentence, refused to attend therapy and said that the requirement for him to attend counselling or therapy was unreasonable.