Singapore

Youth who did backflip in rhino pen allegedly took drugs while on bail

A youth who was caught on video last December doing a backflip inside a white rhinoceros enclosure at the Singapore Zoo allegedly consumed cannabis while he was out on bail.

Ralph Wee Yi Kai, 19, was charged with one count of drug consumption in a district court yesterday.

He was first hauled to court in July this year, when he was charged with two counts of mischief, as well as one count each of vandalism and criminal trespass. Wee was offered bail of $15,000.

The Singaporean was said to have taken the drug in August while out on bail.

Yesterday, Wee appeared in court via video link. He had his bail revoked earlier after he breached its conditions and was remanded.

While out on bail, he was supposed to undergo urine tests at the Central Narcotics Bureau but failed to do so.

Defence lawyer Shashi Nathan told the court yesterday that his client had been issued medical certificates for days he was supposed to go for the tests.

Urging the court to grant bail, he added that Wee is now a "very different person" and has "calmed down".

District Judge Terence Tay then granted Wee bail of $20,000. His pre-trial conference will take place on Nov 2.

He currently faces six charges - two of mischief as well as one each of vandalism, criminal trespass, animal abuse and drug consumption.

Wee is accused of trespassing into the rhinoceros enclosure around 2.40pm on Dec 17 last year.

He is also said to have abused a frog, causing "unnecessary pain and suffering", at a Sentosa Cove property a week later.

Separately, Wee allegedly committed an act of vandalism around 2.40am on Oct 9 last year by hitting an information panel at a bus stop in Sixth Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road, causing $900 in damage.

He is also said to have caused damage to two cars at nearby Sixth Crescent that morning by hitting their side mirrors.

If convicted of criminal trespass, Wee can be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.

For vandalism, an offender can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to three years, and receive between three and eight strokes of the cane.

For cannabis consumption, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME