Serviceman pleads guilty to sharing photos of 2018 Bionix accident
The final serviceman to be dealt with over leaked photos of the fatal Bionix accident in 2018 pleaded guilty yesterday.
Thng Yu Xuan, 21, a student from the National University of Singapore (NUS), pleaded guilty to one charge under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for sharing photos of the accident that killed Corporal First Class Liu Kai in 2018.
Four others, who faced similar charges, have been fined between $1,500 and $3,000.
Thng was a sergeant with the Singapore Civil Defence Force and was attached to Jurong Fire Station when the incident happened on Nov 3.
He was deployed to the accident site that morning with other personnel, but did not take any photos.
He received photos of the accident taken by other personnel at the scene via WhatsApp after returning to the station.
Despite knowing this was done in contravention of the OSA, he forwarded the photos to another WhatsApp chat with his friends.
Yesterday, the court was told Thng was traumatised during the rescue attempt, and forwarded the photos to remind his friends to be careful to avoid training accidents.
His lawyer Simon Tan Hiang Teck asked the court to call for a probation suitability report.
He cited the case of convicted molester Terence Siow, also an NUS student, who was sentenced to probation but whose case is pending an appeal.
Mr Tan said Siow's case was relevant as offences of a sexual nature similarly dealt with impulses, and probation should be considered for all young offenders.
But Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yihong disagreed, and said such offences are not an appropriate comparison.
She asked the court to fine him $1,500.
District Judge Christopher Goh Eng Chiang noted the other servicemen who have been convicted were issued fines.
The judge adjourned sentencing to March 3.
For wrongful communication, Thng can be fined up to $2,000 and jailed for up to two years.