Six months' day reporting order for shoplifter from well-to-do family

Qu Kai, 33, was on Wednesday placed on a six-month day reporting order, without tagging, for theft on July 31. -- PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS
Qu Kai, 33, was on Wednesday placed on a six-month day reporting order, without tagging, for theft on July 31. -- PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Stressed by work and personal issues, a nurse from a well-to-do family stole $13.22 in groceries from a supermarket.

Qu Kai, 33, was on Wednesday placed on a six-month day reporting order, without tagging, for theft on July 31. This means she has to report regularly to a centre run by the Singapore Prison Service for supervision and counselling.

Qu, a nurse of more than 10 years' standing, was also ordered to perform 120 hours of community service within the next year.

The items she stole from NTUC Fairprice Xtra in Ang Mo Kio Hub included a roasted black pepper chicken worth $5.80, Oreo cookies worth $3.50 and a $2 packet of shitake mushrooms.

According to court papers, Qu earns a gross monthly income of more than $4,800. Her husband, a senior associate in an architectural firm, earns a basic wage of $7,500 each month. Her parents are retired doctors.

Defence counsel Richard Lim said his client had done a foolish act during a "momentary lapse of judgment". She had gone to work with a heavy heart earlier that day after quarrelling with her husband, the lawyer added.

Later on, Qu's mother asked her to buy back some food for dinner. She also hurried Qu to return quickly and help her Primary 3 daughter prepare for a Gifted Education Programme screening test, Mr Lim said.

He added Qu's family was supportive and she would not reoffend.

For theft, Qu could have been jailed for up to three years and fined.