Burglar gets five years' corrective training and 12 strokes of the cane

A repeat offender who returned to his life of crime a year after his release from prison was sentenced to five years' corrective training on Tuesday.

Corrective training, which can last between five and 14 years, is a tough prison regime for repeat offenders without remission for good behaviour.

Pek Kok Chong was also ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cane after he had admitted to two housebreaking and theft charges and one of stealing a bicycle. Four other charges were considered.

The unemployed 39-year-old man had climbed into a neighbour's flat on the eighth floor at Block 641 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 on June 26 after removing its window glass panel. Police officers, who were notified by a resident, heard noise from the unit and knocked on the door. While waiting for the door to be opened, they received another call stating that there was a man sitting on the window ledge of the unit.

Investigation showed that Pek had climbed to the seventh floor by tying curtains to the window grilles after stealing $123. He then used curtains from the unit to climb down to the unit on the sixth floor and hid inside. With the help of the Singapore Civil Defence Force officers, police got in and detained him.

A day earlier, he had broken into a flat at Block 645 and stolen a game console and jewellery totalling $450.

The court also heard that he stole a $288 bicycle from Cash Converters at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 on June 12. He was arrested when he tried to sell his own bicycle to the store.

Pek has a string of previous convictions for mainly theft and break-ins.