SINGAPORE: Two teenagers involved in a juice-drinking stunt at a supermarket, with one of them drinking from bottles and returning it to the shelf while the other filmed it, were sentenced to probation on Thursday (Aug 27).
Nigel Pang Yew Ming, 18, was given nine months' probation and will have to perform 60 hours of community service. His co-accused, a 17-year-old who cannot be named due to recent changes to the Children and Young Persons Act protecting those under 18, received the same sentence.
The parents of both teens furnished a bond of S$5,000 each to ensure their sons' good behaviour during the period of probation, during which the teens have to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am.
They pleaded guilty last month to a charge each of public nuisance by common intention.
The incident occurred on the evening of Feb 6 at the NTUC FairPrice supermarket at 2 Bukit Batok West Avenue 7.
Pang took two bottles of fruit juice from a refrigerated shelf and drank from them before placing them back on the shelf.
The younger boy filmed the acts and posted it on Instagram with the caption "how to spread Wuhan virus". It was later circulated publicly and went viral.
The sentencing comes after several adjournments as Pang's guilty plea was initially rejected when he maintained he had not known about the caption nor consented to it.
He eventually decided to plead guilty, but on Thursday the court heard that he again "pulled back" on his position that he knew the 17-year-old would caption the video "how to spread Wuhan" and post it.
His lawyer said they discussed the matter and his client withdrew his assertion.
Probation was recommended for both teens, and the judge read from Pang's report, saying that it found he had "poor consequential thinking skills" and cited "peer discernment" as a risk factor.
He urged Pang to work on these and said he would give Pang "a chance at probation" due to the factors in his favour in the probation report.
However, he warned both Pang and his co-accused that the probation orders can be revoked if they reoffend, and they can be sentenced afresh.
For public nuisance, they could have been jailed up to three months, fined up to S$2,000, or both.