24-year-old jailed for trespassing, drug offences and throwing Molotov cocktail into a flat

SINGAPORE - A 24-year-old man was jailed for 3½ years on Tuesday (May 9) after throwing a Molotov cocktail made up of a bottle of thinner and a burning tissue paper wick into a HDB flat.

The homemade explosive did not work and there was no damage to the flat's interior.

Lim Yan Hua pleaded guilty in court to attempted mischief by fire, criminal trespass with theft and three drug-related offences.

One count of possession of a stun gun and two other drug-related charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that on Nov 4 last year, Lim trespassed into his former landlady's unlocked Petir Road flat when no one else was around and stole items including a $100 mobile phone and a computer monitor.

Armed with a palm-sized rock and a thinner-filled bottle nine days later, he went to a Hougang flat belonging to a 57-year-old cleaner and his 19-year-old son.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jocelyn Teo said that the pair had borrowed some money from Lim but were unable to settle their debt. Court papers did not mention the amount involved.

Lim turned up outside their home at around 9.30am and banged on their front door.

When no one responded, he used the rock to smash a glass window panel which faces the common corridor.

After that, he flung the Molotov cocktail through the broken window and left.

One of their neighbours, who had spotted him behaving suspiciously, notified the father when he came home about an hour later.

DPP Teo said: "When (the father) entered the unit,he discovered one 315ml bottle with a burnt tissue, which lay on the bed inside his bedroom. There were no burnt marks or damage to (the) property caused by fire, except for the broken window."

The father notified the police and officers arrested Lim on Nov 29, last year.

During a search, they found items including a packet of crystalline substance later found to contain 0.66g of methamphetamine or "Ice".

The drug was also detected in his urine and Lim admitted he had consumed it shortly before his arrest.

For attempted mischief by fire, he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.

And for committing trespassing with theft, he could have been jailed up to seven years.