Jail, cane for man who pulled out replica pistol during row

SINGAPORE - A diner who whipped out a replica pistol during a quarrel at a food stall was sentenced to a year and two months behind bars on Wednesday.

Kenny Lim Sze Yu - who will also receive three strokes of the cane - wanted to scare off his three foes, the court heard.

But one of the men pounced on him and pinned him to the ground while another stepped on the gun, breaking it to pieces.

The court heard that the unemployed 34-year-old bought the replica pistol from a friend for $50 on Feb 24.

A day later, he turned up alone at the Orchard Plaza eatery in the early hours after drinking beer with a friend in a nearby pub.

When the food stall assistant made a mistake with his order, he threw his bowl on the floor and overturned a table - which nearly hit three other customers.

This sparked an argument, during which Lim pulled the replica pistol from his sling bag and brandished it at the trio.

When they tackled him and broke the suspected weapon, he demanded compensation for it, before leaving for home.

Meanwhile, a passer-by noticed the commotion and called the police.

Lim was arrested four days later.

Pleading for leniency, defence counsel Peter Fernando said his client took out the replica pistol because he was outnumbered.

He added: "Lim's reaction... was utterly foolish and he has pleaded guilty to express his deep and sincere remorse."

Deputy Public Prosecutor Caleb Tan said Lim had committed a serious offence and should be sentenced to between eight months and a year in jail, with the mandatory three strokes of the cane.

But District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said he "had created fear and terror in a public place" and deserved the stiffer sentence of 14 months in prison. His jail term was backdated to March 2 - the day he was remanded in custody.

The maximum sentence for brandishing an imitation firearm in a manner likely to cause fear of harm or death is 10 years in jail and at least three strokes of the cane.


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