Salesman wrecked 13 windows in two-year slingshot spree

A SALES consultant who went on a wrecking spree with two slingshots is appealing against his eight-month jail sentence.

Inspired by a YouTube video, Magnus Yeo Teck Chuang, 39, bought the weapons online and carried out a string of drive-by shootings in which he fired marbles at glass buildings, causing $152,000 worth of damage.

His 21-month campaign began as he drove to work on Oct 8, 2010, when he loaded a marble into the slingshot and shattered a glass panel of the Cycle & Carriage showroom in Alexandra Road. It cost $33,000 to repair.

He picked random targets and used the slingshot while driving.

Yeo was finally arrested on July 31 last year after shattering a total of 13 windows of premises such as the Volkswagen showroom where he worked in Alexandra Road, shops in Lower Delta Road, and the SingTel building in Pickering Street. He also smashed glass panels of the Cycle & Carriage showroom on two other occasions.

Yeo admitted to four charges of mischief, and nine other charges were taken into consideration at a district court.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of $130,803 to cover the damage he caused in the four charges he admitted to. If he is unable to pay, he must serve another five months behind bars.

Yeo, who is in Changi Prison, has appealed to the High Court to reduce his punishment.

In the grounds of decision issued on Monday, District Judge Eddy Tham stated that a stiff sentence was necessary to deter such offences which "are easily committed but hard to detect".

He also noted that Yeo had destroyed the property of nine companies. There was also substantial damage and the judge said that "the offer of restitution of $8,000 was clearly a paltry sum compared to the damage caused".

Defence counsel Terence Tan of Dodwell law firm had told the court that his client had been suffering from stress and depression for the last two to three years and a psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health believed his state of mind could have contributed to the offences.

But the judge wrote that Yeo had endangered the safety of people near the windows as they shattered. Yeo even told a psychiatrist he was relieved to have been caught as he realised his actions could have hurt somebody.

The judge also noted that he had put the lives of other road users in danger. The appeal hearing date has not been announced.

For committing mischief and causing loss or damage of $500 or more, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to $10,000, or both.