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Poly student gets probation after obtaining girl’s compromising photos by posing as school's vice-principal

SINGAPORE — Posing as the vice-principal of a girl’s junior college, a teenager got the girl to reveal her email password by claiming that a hacker had broken into the school’s Gmail account.

SINGAPORE — Posing as the vice-principal of a girl’s junior college, a teenager got the girl to reveal her email password by claiming that a hacker had broken into the school’s Gmail account.

He also got the girl to send compromising photos to her email account to “entrap” the hacker.

On Wednesday (Dec 8), the 18-year-old Singaporean polytechnic student was sentenced to one-and-a-half years’ probation, which is usually offered to first-time offenders between 16 and 21 years old. 

Probation does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences.

The teenager cannot be identified because he committed the crimes when he was not yet 18. The Children and Young Persons Act bans the publication of the identities of such young offenders.

His victim also cannot be named because of a court order to protect her identity.

The teenager earlier pleaded guilty to one charge each of cheating by personation, unauthorised access of computer material and the unauthorised modification of such material. Five other similar charges were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that he committed the crimes on May 10 last year, during the circuit breaker period that limited movements and activities to combat Covid-19. School classes were held online at that time.

The teenager called the victim, a 17-year-old junior college student, and told her that he was the vice-principal of her junior college.

He said that someone had hacked into the school’s Gmail account and there was “an urgent need to upgrade the firewall”, the court heard.

He added that she needed to provide her email log-in password. This, he claimed, was because the school’s Gmail account was linked to her Instagram account.

She complied upon hearing this. 

He logged into her email account to browse its contents and gained access to her Apple ID account before changing her password.

Court documents showed that he also accessed her Instagram account, though they did not reveal how he was caught or why he had targeted the girl.

That same day, he also instructed her to send various compromising photos to her email account so as to "entrap" the hacker. No further details were given in court. 

Under the probation conditions, he must remain indoors from 10pm to 6am, perform 40 hours of community service, and go for psychiatric treatment. He must also comply with medication and psychiatric treatment, and undergo psychological intervention, where needed.

His mother and uncle posted a S$5,000 bond to ensure his good behaviour during the probation period.

Adult offenders convicted of cheating by personation can be jailed for up to five years or fined, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime cheating

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