An incorrigible serial offender who chalked up 45 criminal charges, from robbery to criminal intimidation, over 25 years was given nine years of corrective training on Wednesday.
But the punishment is nothing new to 39-year-old Ng Kim Hong.
The former customer service officer has also done time under probation, at a juvenile home, in reformative training and in prison since his first conviction in 1988 at the age of 13.
He has also received 18 strokes of the cane for crimes such as robbery and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Ng committed his latest offences, taking about $5,000 worth of cash and valuables, in November and December last year - 14 months after he finished an eight-year corrective training stint.
He approached his victims and asked to borrow their mobile phones by lying either that his phone battery was flat or that he needed to make an urgent call. He would then walk or run off with the phones.
To get his victims to hand over their phones, another ruse he used was to promise them a good trade-in value for the items. He also stole two phones and $1,500 in cash from two people in a hotel room in Sentosa and a Housing Board flat in Yishun respectively.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal breach of trust, cheating and theft in dwelling on Feb 25, with five other charges taken into consideration.
Ng was handed a four-year jail term in the district court, but on Wednesday Justice Chao Hick Tin changed this to nine years of corrective training following an appeal by prosecutors.