Stewardess fined $7,000 for shoplifting spree

A Japanese flight stewardess who went on a half-hour shoplifting spree in Paragon was fined $7,000 yesterday.

Satoko Otaka, 27, who was suffering from major depression with impulse control disorder at the time of the offence, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft.

Four other charges of theft and one count of possession of stolen property were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that Otaka flew to Singapore on an All Nippon Airways flight early on Aug 4.

Fatigued, and lacking sleep, she went to Paragon shopping centre in Orchard Road.

At about 12.20pm, a deputy manager at Marketplace supermarket detained her for shoplifting and called the police.

Among the items Otaka had taken from the outlet were fruit, postcards, packaged soup and vegetable stock. The total value of the items was $171.74.

A Salvatore Ferragamo coin pouch, card holder and wallet were also found on her. The value of the stolen items amounted to $1,750.

Police also found a pair of Mizuno men's tights, worth $165, in her possession.

Within half an hour that morning, she stole more than $2,300 worth of items.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling asked the court to impose a fine.

In mitigation, Otaka's lawyer Gary Low said the offences were not premeditated and had not been committed for financial and material gain.

There was also no loss, and the stolen items were recovered.

Mr Low said his client is receiving appropriate psychiatric treatment.

He asked for a fine of $6,000.

The penalty for theft is up to three years' jail, or a fine, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2015, with the headline 'Stewardess fined $7,000 for shoplifting spree'. Print Edition | Subscribe