Waiter gets fine for torching neighbour's clothes

Waiter gets fine for torching neighbour's clothes
Phui was fined $2,000 over the incident and also ordered to pay $150 in compensation to his neighbours.

SINGAPORE - A waiter at a karaoke chain decided to "de-stress" after a shift - by setting fire to his neighbour's clothes.

Phui Jun Ming, 22, spotted the garments hanging from a pole on the ground floor of a Bukit Panjang block and sparked them with his lighter. He watched the flames spread before two neighbours rushed to put them out.

Yesterday K Box employee Phui was fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to mischief over the incident in the corridor of Block 502, Jelapang Road at 5.30am last Dec 22. A community court also ordered him to pay $150 in compensation to his neighbours for the damage caused to their property.

This also included a styrofoam box containing garden tools and a flower pot, which he set ablaze outside another neighbour's home shortly after.

Phui also burned a discarded mattress in his own void deck on Dec 17. Two charges arising from these incidents were taken into consideration.

When he was 13, Phui was assessed to have poor impulse control and subnormal intelligence, although he was fit to give his plea yesterday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling did not press for a jail term in view of this but, asking the court to impose a high fine, said the consequences could have been worse if the fire had not been spotted.

Phui's lawyer Gary Teo Eng Thye said his client had probably not been able to appreciate the consequence of his actions, despite understanding they were wrong. He said Phui, who comes from a low-income family, regretted what he had done.

In 2006, Phui was convicted of outrage of modesty and sentenced to 24 months' probation.

For committing mischief, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined.


This article was first published on June 13, 2014.
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