Singapore

Girl, 14, died after jumping from 7th storey with pillow, soft toy

Her guardian had locked the front door and not allowed her to leave the flat to meet her friends as she had behavioural issues.

So Carmen, 14, who went by only one name, tied a pillow and a soft toy to her body before jumping down from the seventh-storey unit in Block 519, West Coast Road, around 9pm on Feb 25 - thinking they would cushion her fall.

In an inquiry into her death yesterday, State Coroner Marvin Bay said: "Her fall had gone catastrophically wrong, with Carmen's head impacting against a drain and only part of her body landing on a grass patch."

He ruled her death as a tragic misadventure and added: "While Carmen's fall was effectively a deliberate act, it is plain that she did not intend the dire consequences."

The Indonesian teenager, who had been studying in Singapore, had lived with her guardian, Mr Chan Tuck Foon, since she was six.

She had disciplinary problems - and not just in school.

Coroner Bay said she picked up smoking early last year and was caught lighting up in school thrice.

Despite being counselled repeatedly in school, she would get in trouble after meeting friends outside of school hours. She was also caught shoplifting twice.

Coroner Bay said Mr Chan had approached a family service centre on Dec 8 last year to get her counselling. She attended four sessions between Jan 4 and 26 but continued to display troubling behavioural issues.

As a result, he thought about sending her back to Indonesia.

On Feb 25, shortly before her fatal fall, Carmen cried as she wanted to leave his flat.

BAD INFLUENCE

Coroner Bay said: "But Mr Chan held firm in his refusal to let her mix with individuals whom he felt to be a bad influence."

Around 9pm, Mr Chan's mother realised Carmen was not in her room. She alerted her son after noticing a chair near the open kitchen window and grilles.

The police were notified, and Carmen died in the National University Hospital of multiple injuries about 50 minutes later.

Coroner's Inquirystudenthdb