Ex-ITE student admits to role in schoolmate's knife attack on campus

SINGAPORE - An Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East student took a bread knife to school in February, and one of his friends later used it to slash another student on campus.

The 18-year-old pleaded guilty in a district court on Monday (Oct 25) to aiding his friend, now 19, in the attack.

The Straits Times understands that both teenagers are no longer ITE students, and the case involving the older youth, Palanidas Ramadas, is pending.

The 18-year-old also admitted to an unrelated offence - being part of an attempted robbery in October 2019.

He cannot be named under the Children and Young Persons Act as he was 17 at the time of the attempted robbery.

The court heard that Palanidas contacted the teenager on Feb 15 to tell him to bring a bread knife to school as one of his friends had "problems" there. The youth took the knife to school the next day.

Palanidas and the victim, 20, later saw each other at the canteen but did not speak.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Shin Hui said Palanidas later informed the accused he no longer needed the bread knife as his friend had settled his issues.

But he told the teenager he had a problem with the victim. Palanidas then asked the victim to meet at the basement carpark of their school for a talk. The victim agreed.

As they made their way there, the offender handed the knife to Palanidas, the court heard.

DPP Lim said: "When the group reached the carpark at about 12.07 pm, Palanidas approached the victim while holding the bread knife. He then swung the bread knife at the victim and slashed the victim multiple times.

"The victim subsequently managed to run out of the ITE compound and returned home, where he informed his father he had been attacked and sought treatment at Changi General Hospital."

He was later found to have injuries including wounds on his left shoulder and left ear.

The 18-year-old teenager was also involved in a robbery attempt in October 2019 as part of a group that tried to rob Mr Jaston Tan, 28, of $20,000 in cash.

The court heard that a man identified as Aaron Lim Jun Ying, 26, who was then in debt, had engaged one Chen Yongxian, 23, to hand over the money to Mr Tan.

As part of a plan, a group of men, including the teenager, would then rob Mr Tan to get the money back.

The DPP said one of the men would also pretend to beat Chen to make it appear like he was also a victim.

They carried out the plan in Pasir Ris on Oct 16, 2019, but failed to get a bag containing the cash as Mr Tan refused to let go of it. They fled empty-handed after an eyewitness shouted at them.

A woman later called the police and the offenders were arrested soon after.

Court documents do not mention the outcome of the cases involving Lim and Chen.

On Monday, DPP Lim urged District Judge May Mesenas to call for a report to assess the teenager's suitability for reformative training, stressing that he had committed serious offences.

Under reformative training, offenders will be detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.

Defence lawyer Josephus Tan, however, pleaded for the judge to call for a report to assess his client's suitability for probation.

The lawyer from Invictus Law Corporation added: "(He) has since also ceased contact with the negative peers he had got into trouble alongside."

Judge Mesenas called for both reports and the teenager will be sentenced in November.

For being part of an assault with a knife, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned.