SINGAPORE — A teenager who attempted to break into two jewellery shops in Little India had his plea for a second stint of reformative training (RT) rejected on Wednesday (3 July).
Saatish Gautham, 20, was given three-and-half years’ jail instead over two counts of attempted housebreaking by night with common intention and one count of rioting with a deadly weapon. One charge of attempted housebreaking by night and another for theft were taken into consideration for his sentencing.
The prosecution said on Wednesday that, according to a report on his previous RT stint, Saatish had shown a “frightening propensity for violence”.
In handing out the sentence, District Judge Eddy Tham noted that Saatish had been given numerous chances and was doing well academically but had not changed his ways.
“He failed repeatedly to wise up and change his ways. Accordingly, I will not grant a second round of reformative training,” he said.
Saatish’s two accomplices in the burglary attempts – Jamal Razeen Abdul Ghani, 19 and Mohammad Fadzir, 17 – have both been handed RT sentences.
In March last year, the trio purchased an oxyacetylene blowtorch set with the intention of dismantling the metal doors of jewellery shops.
At around 2am on 11 March, the group visited Little India with their tools and entered a back lane of Serangoon Road.
Saatish and Faris stopped at the rear door of Merlin Goldsmith & Jewellery. With Faris and Jamal keeping a lookout, Saatish lit the blowtorch and attempted to cut through the door’s hinges.
However, the attempt was aborted after 30 minutes when Faris noticed a man looking at Saatish. Saatish then hid the blowtorch and the group left the area. They returned shortly after to try their luck at a different shop.
At around 4.30am, the trio tried to break into Jewel Palace along Buffalo Road. This time, they used the blowtorch to dismantle the shop’s roller shutters and smashed the lock with a hammer.
Upon rolling up the shutters, an alarm was triggered and the group fled. Nothing was stolen from either shop.
Took part in group attack
Separately, Saatish was part of a group that attacked a 19-year-old boy who had expressed anger over his girlfriend contacting Jamal.
On 30 November last year, a group of seven – including Saatish, Faris and Jamal – assaulted the victim along the corridor of a HDB block. Saatish and Faris both used knives to slash the victim, who was left with lacerations on his body.
At the time of the attack, which lasted a few minutes, Saatish had just completed the RT stint he had earlier absconded from.
On Wednesday, Saatish asked to be given a second chance at RT, promising to change his ways and take his A levels. He said that he would mix with “hardcore criminals” in jail.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Dwayne Lum objected to another RT stint, stating that Saatish had assaulted other inmates while serving his previous stint and had threatened the RT centre staff.
“Rehabilitation can no longer be the dominant sentencing position. He asked for another stint of (RT but) his conduct is appalling,” said the DPP.
DJ Tham told Saatish that he still had a long road ahead of him and urged him to think of his future.
“No doubt there will be bad influences everywhere. The choice is yours, who you mix around with and what you learn,” the DJ added.