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The Straits Times
September 14, 2022
Over nine days, four people kept a 19-year-old teenager with special needs in a hotel room, where they beat him up and forced him to drink urine.
He was found only after his sister saw an online post of him getting abused, and alerted the police.
They found the boy in critical condition at Arton Boutique Hotel in Lavender, with slash wounds, chemical and cigarette butt burns, fractures and extensive head injuries.
On Wednesday, one of the group members, Putri Nuramira Aishah Rosli, 20, was sentenced to a minimum of 12 months of reformative training. Offenders must follow a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.
She was earlier convicted of five charges for offences including drug abuse and voluntarily causing hurt by abusing the victim and using a razor blade to cut his arms.
District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said her offences were serious.
He said: "A person has been seriously injured because of what you and your friends have done... Given your young age, I believe rehabilitation is feasible. But given your personal circumstances, you have to do it in a more structured environment."
The group who assaulted the boy included Putri, Muhammad Shahfakhry Mohamad Faizal, 21, and two girls – identified in court documents as A1 and A2, both 16 – who cannot be named as they are juveniles.
Shahfakhry's case is still pending while A1 was sentenced to at least one year of reformative training in July.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap said the victim has low IQ and before the incident, he was studying at APSN Delta Senior School, which is for students with mild intellectual disability.
He had known members of the group since 2018, but did not know Putri before the incident.
Putri and the others met at the hotel room to take drugs on Jan 15. The victim asked A1 where she was and joined them there and stayed in the room on Jan 17.
Shahfakhry soon slapped, punched and kicked the teen. Court documents did not state why he did this.
A1 then told Shahfakhry the victim wanted to have sex with her without her consent. This prompted Shahfakhry to attack him further.
The girl joined in, while A2 filmed the assault.
The group continued to abuse the boy from Jan 17 to 25, during which, one of the girls suggested peeing into a bottle of iced lemon tea and giving it to the victim. Shahfakhry told the victim to drink it, which he did.
Putri, who witnessed most of the group’s abuses, slapped, punched and kicked the victim. She used a dustpan and an air freshener to hit him.
She also used a razor blade to cut his arms when she thought he was staring at her legs and at A1.
They eventually stopped assaulting him on Jan 25 when they saw he was in a bad state. They brought him medication and bandages for his wounds.
That same day, the victim's social worker and younger sister made police reports that the victim had not returned home after leaving about two weeks earlier.
His sister told the police she saw a photo on social media of someone badly injured, whom she recognised as her brother.
The police soon found the victim in the hotel room with members of the group and arrested them.
The teen was in critical condition and taken to hospital.
He suffered from amnesia, likely due to traumatic brain injury. He also had chemical burns on his face and body, fractures around his eye, cigarette butt burns, slash wounds and cuts around his body.
He remained in hospital for around 10 days, receiving nutritional support as he was unable to eat by himself. Court documents did not mention his current condition.
There are at least two previous cases of group assault where victims were severely abused.
Between 1999 and 2000, seven teenagers held a 14-year-old girl captive in a flat for 17 days and tortured her.
The girl was beaten, scalded with boiling water and forced to perform a sex act on a dog.
They also violated her with a doll's leg.
They committed the crimes at the home of four sisters who were in the group, aged between 11 and 18 then.
The sisters' mother worked as a waitress in a karaoke lounge and was usually not at home, while their father was in rehabilitation then for drug offences.
The three older sisters were sentenced to jail for between two and six years, while the youngest one was sentenced to 36 months in Toa Payoh Girls' Home.
In a separate case between 2016 and 2018, a family abused an intellectually disabled friend after they found her performing a sex act on the husband of one of the women.
They splashed hot water on her and hit her mouth with a hammer, causing her teeth to fall out.
The family made her do chores without pay and abused her by tying her up and beating her.
One of the members urinated into the victim's food, which she ate.
The woman's condition became so dire that one of the family members called for an ambulance and the victim was taken in a "near death state" to hospital, where she needed eight hours of resuscitation.
Last year, one of the family members, Haslinda Ismail, was sentenced to 8½ years' jail.