Singapore

Probation for two teens in drink sampling case at supermarket

Two teenagers linked to a drink sampling incident in a supermarket amid the Covid-19 outbreak were each sentenced to probation yesterday.

Nigel Pang Yew Ming, 18, and his 17-year-old friend each pleaded guilty on July 16 to one count of being a public nuisance.

Both youths were sentenced to nine months' probation, and their parents were bonded for $5,000 to ensure their good behaviour.

The pair have to perform 60 hours of community service and must remain indoors from 10pm to 6am every day.

The younger offender can no longer be named in news reports due to recent amendments to the Children and Young Persons Act, which now covers teenagers below 18 years old.

The two Singaporeans went to a FairPrice outlet in Bukit Batok West Avenue 7 around 6.45pm on Feb 6, and Pang took two bottles of fruit juice from a refrigerated shelf.

He sampled both drinks before putting them back on the shelf.

The 17-year-old boy recorded his friend's antics and the video was posted on Instagram, via an Instastory with the caption "How to spread Wuhan virus".

The Chinese city of Wuhan was the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak at the time.

PUBLIC ALARM

In an earlier statement, the police said an acquaintance recorded a copy of the video and circulated it online. They added that this had caused public alarm and concern.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh said last month that Pang later paid for the two bottles of juice.

Pang also knew his friend would caption the video "How to spread Wuhan virus" and post it on Instagram.

He told his friend to highlight that he had paid for the bottles of fruit juice. The friend posted this information in a subsequent Instastory instead.

The DPP also told the court at the time that the video gained traction on social media, with many members of the public expressing annoyance at the teenagers' antics.

A 21-year-old woman who came across the clip alerted the police on Feb 8.

For being a public nuisance, an offender can be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $2,000. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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