Third appointment at IMH clashed with bail review

In the court hearing on Wednesday for the challenge launched by the lawyers of blogger Amos Yee Pang Sang, 16, to vary his bail conditions such as the blanket ban for him to post on any social media platforms.

Amos was charged on 31 March for uploading an obscene image online and content with the intention to wound the religious feelings of Christians. Earlier, he was also charged under the Protection from Harassment Act 2014 as it “contained remarks about Mr Lee Kuan Yew which was intended to be heard and seen by persons likely to be distressed”, however the charge has since been stood down and put on hold.

Deputy public prosecutor Hay Hung Chun told the court that the prosecution had just been notified on Tuesday that Amos’ mother had taken him to the IMH on Good Friday.

DPP Hay went to state that Amos went for two appointments but refused to go for a third.

stopped after two visits

Papers reported on the point which DPP Hay brought up and Straits Times wrote, “TEENAGE blogger Amos Yee’s parents took him to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to see a psychiatrist on April 3. But after two sessions, the 16-year-old refused to go anymore, it was revealed in court yesterday.”

According to Mr Vincent Law, a family counselor who previously acted as Amos’ bailor, said that he had asked Amos’ mother to arrange for Amos to continue with his psychiatric counselling since he had already gone through the prior two appointments.

However, the earliest date that IMH could give Amos’ mother was Thursday at 2pm, the same day of his bail review at 3pm.

Despite trying to ask if IMH could bring forward the appointment date, IMH said that they could not accommodate the change.

While Mr Law had intended to bring Amos to IMH as an emergency patient through the A&E department of IMH, the sequence of events which took place in the early morning that day prevented Mr Law’s plan.

On morning of the bail review, Amos broke the bail conditions by posting two blog posts on his blog and subsequently went to the Bedok Neighbourhood police post to declare that he had broken the bail condition before attending the bail review at afternoon.

Amos said “No” when being offered lower bail conditions by DPP Hay if he would accept psychiatric counseling. Mr Law said that Amos refused to take up the offer because the bail condition that he cannot post anything on social media platform or blog is still unchanged.

Mr Law added, “You should know that Amos refused bail today (Wednesday) not because he doesn’t want to continue psychiatric counselling but because he didn’t want to be gagged.”

“So there is no question or doubt he won’t go for psychiatric counselling with today’s bail.” said Mr Law

The challenge on Wednesday was dismissed in court as the judge saw no reason to vary the bail condition and Amos was placed back in police remand at Changi Prison.

Amos will be going through a two-days trial at state court for the charges he faces.