Unemployed man gets jail for threatening mother and trying to cause gas explosion

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who had too much to drink turned on the stove to release the gas, and lit a cigarette. He also threatened his mother and locked the front gate to prevent her from leaving the flat.

On Friday (Jan 5), Shanker Raju Krishnasamy, 38, was jailed for three years and three weeks after pleading guilty to criminal intimidation, committing a rash act and an unrelated charge of contravening a personal protection order (PPO) granted to his former wife.

Four other charges, including two counts of calling 999 to cause annoyance to police radio operators, were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that at around 9.30pm on May 12 last year, Shanker started shouting at his 59-year-old mother after he had two cans of beer. He then left the flat.

Said Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana: "The victim observed that the accused had been venting his anger on her throughout the week, and in this instance, the anger appeared to arise from the disputes he had with his girlfriend over the course of the week."

After leaving his flat, Shanker downed some more beer - three bottles and a can. He also had two bottles of rice wine. When he returned home at around 10.40pm, he went to the kitchen where he turned on the gas stove.

He lit a cigarette and then threatened his mother. "Let's die together," he said to her in Tamil. When she tried to turn off the stove, he pushed her away. In a state of panic, the woman called the police, the court heard.

Shanker locked the front gate before the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel arrived at the scene.

After assessing the situation, the officers decided to evacuate his neighbours from the block in Chai Chee Road. Shanker allowed his mother to leave the flat after talking to a police officer.

DPP Sruthi said: "The accused then attempted to set a fire, but was unable to do so. Upon realising that he was unable to cause an explosion, the accused requested to smoke a last cigarette before his arrest... The gas stove was switched off at this juncture (and) the smell of the gas fumes subsided."

Shanker surrendered after stepping out of his flat.

Separately, he contravened the PPO last April when he harassed his former wife, 34, on Facebook. The PPO was granted in 2009 due to instances of family violence perpetrated by Shanker. The couple divorced two years later.