Nagaenthran K. is probably Spore's smartest criminal on death row and he knows it

Nov 14, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Convicted drug mule Nagaenthran A/L K Dharmalingam's case may have attracted widespread media attention.

The narrative peddled was too good to ignore: A "mentally-disabled" man fighting for his life against an authoritarian state.

But is Nagaenthran the proverbial donkey or have we all been taken for a ride?

Nagaenthran continously 'downgrades' his academic qualifications each time he was interviewed

The prosecution found that Nagaenthran was continuously altering his account of his education qualifications, ostensibly to reflect lower educational qualifications each time he was interviewed.

During Nagaenthran's first trial, he testified that he passed his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (“SPM”, which is the Malaysian equivalent of the GCE ‘O’ Levels).

However, when he was interviewed by a psychiatrist, he claimed that he had passed his Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (“UPSR”, which is the Malaysian equivalent of the Primary School Leaving Examinations), but failed his SPM.

In subsequent interviews with separate psychiatrists, Nagaenthran claimed that he did not even manage to pass his USPR.

Nagaenthran gave conflicting accounts about the events that led up to his arrest

According to court documents, Nagaenthran has, at various points in time from his arrest till now, furnished vastly distinct accounts of why he had committed the offence.

When Nagaenthran was first arrested, he admitted to the arresting officer at the time that he knew that the package he was carrying contained heroin which he was delivering for a loanshark named 'King'.

He also stated that he had to deliver the heroin as he owed King money and was promised another RM500 after delivery. There was no mention of any threat made by King towards the applicant’s girlfriend if he had refused to make the delivery

However, during trial, Nagaenthran denied knowledge of the contents of the package, insisting that he was told that it contained “company products”. He then claimed that he had made the delivery under duress – King had assaulted him and threatened to kill his girlfriend unless he made the delivery.

Nagaenthran admitted he lied to one of the psychiatrist

When Nagaenthran was examined by the psychiatrist appointed by his then-lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, he claimed that he had lied to another psychiatrist who was assigned by the prosecution to examine him.

He initially claimed that he had agreed to deliver the heroin for King because he was desperate for money, having owed a loanshark money. He was also motivated to obey King by a mixture of loyalty, awe, fear and gratitude. While he claimed that King possessed a gun, he omitted any mention of any threat to his girlfriend.

However, When Nagaenthran was examined by the prosecution-appointed psychitraist, he claimed that he belonged to a gang and had volunteered to deliver the heron on behalf of a fellow gang member who was reluctant to do so.

He explained that he did so out of his loyalty to the gang and his gratitude to his gang leader, who had provided him with emotional and financial support. He emphasised that he was not coerced into performing the delivery.

The judge later found Nagaenthran's explanation to be a mere afterthought.

Defence's psychiatrist: Nagaenthran gives different stories to different people at different times

When Nagaenthran's own defence-appointed psychiatrist was cross-examined in court, he conceded that he could not know for sure whether or not Nagaenthran was telling him the truth, and that Nagaenthran “gives different stories to … different people … at different times”.

Court: Nagaenthran knew what he was doing

After considering the facts and expert evidence from four psychiatric and psychological experts, the High Court held that Nagaenthran knew what he was doing, and upheld the death sentence in 2017.

The experts, including one called by the defence, said Nagaenthran was not intellectually disabled.

In 2019, the decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal, which said it was satisfied that Nagaenthran clearly understood the nature of his acts.

Nagaenthran undertook the criminal endeavour in order to pay off his debts, and hoped to receive a further sum of money upon successful delivery, said the apex court.

This was "the working of a criminal mind, weighing the risks and countervailing benefits associated with the criminal conduct in question", the court added.

Unrepentant teen with a long list of offences is why some parents shouldn't breed

Nov 25, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Ralph Wee Yi Kai, a 19-year-old Singaporean man, has pleaded guilty to eight charges on Nov. 25 during his plead guilty mention before District Judge May Mesenas.

The charges include consuming weed, causing unnecessary suffering to a frog, possessing imitation tobacco products, trespassing into the rhinoceros enclosure at the Singapore Zoo, and committing mischief by damaging property, reported CNA.

Another six charges will be considered during his sentencing.

Probation is "not realistic"

Wee pleaded guilty via video link from his place in remand, where he has been since Nov. 6.

The prosecution strongly objected to a probation suitability report, noting that Wee is "beyond the control of his parents, which renders probation unsuitable", according to CNA.

The prosecution asserted that probation "is not realistic" for Wee, based on his repeated offences and conduct in court.

They cited his "blatant disregard for rules", and urged for a reformative training suitability report instead.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Lee said Wee "has a tendency to abuse drugs and alcohol", which caused him to behave aggressively towards his parents.

He also "posed a risk" to them, which led him to be admitted to the Institute of Mental Health.

"Never expected it to come to this"

Wee's defence lawyer Shashi Nathan requested for the addition of a probation suitability report, according to CNA.

Shashi maintains that his family is able to supervise Wee, and added that his client "comes from a good family" who are "able to look after him".

He said that Wee was undergoing "a severe emotional crisis" when he committed his offences, and shared that the case has also affected Wee's family, especially after their home address was released to the press.

"While Ralph understands that what he did was wrong, he never expected it to come to this," said Shashi.

Difference between probation and reformative training

Wee was ordered to go though both assessments for a probation suitability report and a reformative training report, reported Yahoo News.

Offenders who undergo probation will not have a criminal record, while reformative training, which provides a more structured environment, results in a criminal record.

What Wee's lawyer said

Wee's lawyer said his client acted out after breaking up with his girlfriend, 18, who was the one who filmed the video of Wee backflipping in the zoo.

The defence lawyer, Shashi, said Wee spiralled into an emotional crisis as a result of his break-up.

Wee is homeschooled.

The court was told Wee saw a video of a man riding a giraffe and decided to make a video in the rhino enclosure, Yahoo News reported.

The ex-girlfriend had filmed the act and posted it on her private Snapchat account.

Wee posted it on his public TikTok account and a police report was made by a zoo personnel within the same day.

Wee removed the video when he was told to do so by the police, but reposted it on Dec. 18, before being told to remove it again, claiming he thought the video had been made private when he reposted it.

Wee had also included a link in his Instagram account biography to directed to a page selling t-shirts with the words "rhino ralph".

But he denied creating the merchandise profile.

He later removed the link.

Wee will return to court on Dec. 20 for his sentencing.

Timeline of events with updated details

Oct. 9, 2020, 2:40am: Allegedly committed an act of vandalism by hitting an information panel at a bus stop in Sixth Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road, causing S$900 in damage.

Allegedly caused damage to two cars -- S$2,800 to a Mercedes-Benz and more than S$1,600 to a BMW -- in nearby Sixth Crescent.

A taxi driver passing by reported him to the police, as Wee was standing in the middle of the road with a beer bottle in hand.

Dec. 16, 2020: Wee was placed on compulsory supervision for 60 months from Dec. 16. He was required to present himself for urine tests on each Tuesday and Thursday, but failed to turn up on four occasions.

He was placed on e-tagging during this period of time, after having been charged for his earlier offences.

He had to stay at home from 10pm to 6am as part of his bail conditions.

Dec. 17, 2020, 2.40pm: Accused of trespassing into the rhinoceros enclosure and taking a video.

Dec. 18, 2020: Reposted zoo video, despite taking it down earlier after being told to do so by the police. Told to remove video again.

Dec. 24, 2020: Accused of abusing a frog, which subsequently died, by hitting a ball against it on a foosball table, causing "unnecessary pain and suffering".

The incident allegedly took place at a Sentosa Cove property.

July 2021: First hauled to court and charged with two counts of mischief, as well as one count each of vandalism and criminal trespass.

Bail was then set at S$15,000.

Aug. 6, 2021: Allegedly consumed cannabis while out on bail. Arrested at his residence and two urine samples obtained tested positive for weed. S$15,000 bail revoked.

Sep. 14, 2021: Allegedly possessed an e-vaporiser and six e-cigarette pods at a ward in the Institute of Mental Health.

Three police officers showed up at IMH, where Wee was warded, to arrest him for failing to attend court.

He was admitted to IMH due to his drug and alcohol abuse, as had acted aggressively towards his parents when they demanded the drugs from him.

He was warded in IMH due to the risk he posed to his parents.

Oct. 13, 2021: Charged with one count of drug consumption while still in remand.

Bail raised to S$20,000 and Wee was released.

While out on second bail, Wee committed a string of offences, including cutting his electronic tag, according to ST, as well as not reporting for his urine tests on a few occasions, CNA reported.

The prosecution has called for an urgent bail review hearing to have Wee's second bail revoked for the alleged fresh offences.

Oct. 26, 2021: Allegedly cut a S$100 GPS ankle tag at an address on Leedon Road at about 12:10am.

Prior to this act, Wee was upset at his father, who had asked Wee to sleep early since he had to report for his urine test in the morning.

After arguing with his father, Wee decided to leave the house, and used pliers to cut off his e-tag before cycling to his friend’s house.

Upon discovering that Wee was missing, his father called the police.

The e-tag, worth S$100, was damaged and could no longer be used.

It was found in Wee’s house.

Oct. 28, 2021: Allegedly possessed an e-cigarette pod at the Leedon Road address.

Nov. 5, 2021: Warrant of arrest issued, as Wee could not wake up to attend court.

Nov. 6, 2021: Wee arrested.

Nov. 12, 2021: Slapped with four additional charges.

Nov. 25, 2021: Pleaded guilty to consuming weed, causing unnecessary suffering to a frog, possessing imitation tobacco products, trespassing into a rhino enclosure, and committing mischief by damaging property belonging to others.

Ordered to go though assessments for a probation suitability report and a reformative training report.