52-year-old charged with vandalism at State Courts

A 52-year-old man was charged yesterday with vandalising a room at the State Courts' pretrial conference (PTC) centre on Wednesday.

No plea was taken from Ho Bak Choon.

He is accused of writing the names of a secret society on a wall and a Chinese secret society clan on the wooden door of the video-link room using a red marker at about 1pm on July 20.

The room is where lawyers and their clients hold discussions.

The State Courts called the police at about 2.40pm that day.

Ho is said to have been wearing a cap when he entered the centre during lunchtime, when the room on the mezzanine floor was empty.

He left the State Courts in Havelock Square but returned later and was arrested.

He is being remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric evaluation.

He will appear in court again on Aug 5.

If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $2,000 or a jail term of up to three years.

Convicted vandals below the age of 50 also face up to eight strokes of the cane.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline '52-year-old charged with vandalism at State Courts'. Print Edition | Subscribe