Teen accused of killing RVHS schoolmate has murder charge reduced to culpable homicide
A teenager accused of killing his River Valley High School (RVHS) schoolmate in 2021 had the murder charge he was facing reduced on Friday to that of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The 18-year-old boy cannot be named as he was 16 years old when he allegedly committed the offence.
Those below 18 are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.
According to court documents, the teen used an axe to repeatedly slash the neck, head and body of a 13-year-old boy inside a toilet at RVHS in Boon Lay Avenue between 11.16am and 11.44am on July 19, 2021.
He allegedly did so with the intent to cause the younger boy’s death.
The two were not known to each other, police investigations showed.
Several students saw the accused outside a toilet after the incident. This prompted the emergency “Run-Hide-Tell” lockdown drill – where students go into their classrooms, lock the doors and call their form teachers for help.
During earlier proceedings, the court heard that the accused had attempted suicide in 2019, and was assessed at the Institute of Mental Health.
In an update on July 16, 2022, the Ministry of Education said that after the incident, the school made an effort to look out for students and staff who needed socio-emotional support.
RVHS was resourced with additional counsellors, and mental well-being awareness talks were conducted for its students, the ministry added.
The accused, who has been in remand since the incident, took his O-level examinations as a private candidate while in custody. He is represented by lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and Joyce Khoo from Quahe Woo & Palmer.
His case will next be heard on April 6.
Offenders convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder can be jailed for up to 20 years, fined or caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.
Although a male offender between the ages of 18 and 50 who has been certified to be in a fit state of health by a medical officer is liable to be caned, the offence allegedly happened when the accused was under 18 years old.
• Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline:
6389-2222 (24 hours)
• Samaritans of Singapore:
1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours)
• Singapore Association for Mental Health:
• Silver Ribbon Singapore:
• Tinkle Friend:
• Community Health Assessment Team:
• TOUCHline (Counselling):
• TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers):
• Care Corner Counselling Centre: