Man gets jail and fine for padlocking gate of girlfriend's flat and verbally abusing shop employee

SINGAPORE - A man padlocked the gate of his then girlfriend's flat after she refused to return to the void deck where they had been having an argument.

A few months later, Praveen Mohan, 30, verbally abused an employee at a licensed moneylender, threatening to harm her parents and burn the shop down.

Praveen was sentenced to a week's jail and fined $3,000 on Monday (Jan 14) after he was found guilty of wrongful confinement and also of breaching the Protection from Harassment Act.

The court heard that Praveen and Miss Sarania Sasidharan, 27, were having an argument in the void deck of an HDB block where she lives at about 4am on Aug 5, 2017 when she left and returned home.

He called her many times to return to the void deck to talk things through but she refused.

This angered Praveen, who took a padlock from his lorry which he used it to lock the metal gate of Miss Sarania's flat.

He did this to force her to call him back, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Chong said.

Miss Sarania's parents found the gate padlocked at about 8am that day. She called the police.

Investigations showed that Praveen had passed the keys to the padlock to Miss Sarania's elder sister, but Miss Sarania had already called the police.

At about 3.30pm on Dec 29, Praveen went to IP Credit Pte Ltd, a licensed moneylender in Block 185, Toa Payoh Central, to look for a man called James. He claimed he had transferred money to a James from IP Credit.

He got angry when Ms Adeline Low Hui Xin, 36, who was working there as a loan officer, told him there was no such person.

Saying that other people had also turned up at the shop looking for James, Ms Low advised Praveen to make a police report but he continued to make a ruckus.

When Ms Low called the police, Praveen stepped out of the shop. But he continued to shout at her and made the threats to harm her parents and burn down the shop. The police arrived soon after.

For the offence of wrongful confinement, Praveen could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $3,000.

For intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress through the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, he could have been fined up to $5,000 and jailed up to six months.