For the last decade, Khairudin Mohamed's mother had a personal protection order against her own son.
But that did not stop the 39-year-old from threatening to burn down her flat after cutting the hose of a gas cylinder, an incident which yesterday saw him jailed for 15 months. He pleaded guilty to criminal intimidation and a rash act at his home in Tampines Avenue 4 on Jan 27.
The court heard that the victim, Madam Safiah Che'mat Aliman, 67, was in the flat around 10am that day when Khairudin returned home and asked her for money. She gave him $40 but he became angry and demanded more. He left the flat when she said she did not have more.
At about 1pm, Madam Safiah received a phone call from her son's girlfriend. The girlfriend hung up when she heard Khairudin was not at home. When Khairudin returned home at about 2pm, Madam Safiah told him his girlfriend had called. On hearing this, he became angry.
He threatened to burn the flat down. He went to the kitchen and cut the hose of the gas cylinder which supplied gas to the stove.
He then picked up the gas cylinder, with the cut hose, and said to his mother in Malay: "You thought I was just joking. This time, it's for real."
He then entered his bedroom with the gas cylinder, while Madam Safiah called the police before leaving the flat. Khairudin was arrested.
Investigations showed that Madam Safiah had a personal protection order against Khairudin, restraining him from using violence against her. The order was issued on April 25, 2007. Three other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Khairudin's lawyer Low Jianhui said his client was diagnosed with depression and anti-social personality disorder some 10 years back.
Khairudin, he added, was the primary caregiver for his mother, who had a stroke in April but is now stable. She is being looked after by his uncle.
Khairudin, who was convicted twice for criminal intimidation in 2005 and 2007, could have been jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $2,500 for the rash act. For criminal intimidation, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined.