Man fined $2,000 for setting fire to neighbourhood items

SINGAPORE - Waiter Phui Jun Ming had finished his shift at karaoke chain K Box one early morning last December and was back in Bukit Panjang where he lived when he decided to de-stress - by setting fire to his neighbour's clothes.

Spotting clothes hanging from a bamboo pole along the ground floor of the neighbouring block, he took out his lighter and set a garment ablaze. He then fled and watched from a distance as his neighbour, alerted by another who was on the way to work at around 5.30am and had spotted the flames, rushed to put it out.

On Thursday, Phui, 22, was fined $2,000 after he pleaded guilty to causing mischief along the corridor of Block 502 Jelapang Road. Two other similar offences he committed in his neighbourhood that month - involving items such as a styrofoam box, flower pot and discarded mattress - were considered. The total damage caused was more than $150.

Phui has been assessed to have poor impulse control and subnormal intelligence, although he was still fit to admit to the charges. The prosecution did not press for a jail term in view of this. He could have been jailed for up to a year and fined.

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