Batman sent to jail for theft, heroin use

Batman sent to jail for theft, heroin use
Batman, who has a fan club on Facebook, stole his brother's ATM card to make unauthorised withdrawals, and twice broke into a firm's office to steal. A test when he was arrested showed he had been taking heroin.

A 23-year-old with a superhero's name turned out to be nothing more than a common criminal.

Batman Suparman, whose unusual moniker made him an online sensation after a picture of his identity card was posted several years ago, was jailed on Monday for two years and nine months for theft, housebreaking and consuming heroin.

The sentencing put the unemployed man, who has his own Facebook fan club with more than 10,000 likes since it was set up in 2008, back on the online radar.

Several overseas news sites reported his case, while netizens reacted with comments such as "what a letdown".

Batman's crime spree began in July when he stole an ATM card belonging to his elder brother Nurazman Suparman, 28, from their Depot Road home, before going on to make unauthorised withdrawals amounting to $650 from cash machines later in the month.

Then, in August, he twice broke into the office of GF Billiards & Marketing near his home. He stole a total of $500. But his second theft on Aug 10 was caught on security videos.

When Batman was arrested on Aug19, a urine test revealed that he had also been taking heroin.

During Batman's hearing on Sunday, District Judge Wong Choon Ning could not suppress a smile when she heard his name - in which the "bin" stands for "son of".

When contacted by The Straits Times, Dr Aris Ananta, an Indonesian scholar and senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, said Suparman is a common Javanese name.

He explained that the prefix "su" means good.

Batman, on the other hand, is very unusual, according to Dr Ananta, who added that this was the first time he had heard of such a name. He explained that it would probably be pronounced "but-mun" in Javanese, but it could well be part of "a trend among the younger generation to create their own names".

khush@sph.com.sg
joseow@sph.com.sg


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