SINGAPORE: Unhappy that a colleague was purportedly being treated better than he was, a then-Mediacorp engineer cut the cables of a company vehicle, causing damage that cost more than S$2,000.
For his act of mischief, 34-year-old Quek Peh Jia was fined S$5,000 on Tuesday (Aug 4).
The court heard that Quek felt that his colleague, a 51-year-old senior engineer, was being treated better than he was in the company.
He also "harboured gripes over the alleged disparity in assignment of work", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Lim.
In June last year, Quek decided to cut a cable of a nitrogen oxide sensor on a Mercedes ACTROS Prime Mover belonging to Mediacorp at Bukit Batok Transmitting Station.
He later said he did this as he wanted his colleague to take the blame for the faulty cable, and also because he was discontented with the company.
In August 2019, Quek's supervisor lodged a police report over cables that were cut in another vehicle, a lorry owned by Mediacorp. The cut cables were linked to the front and rear headlights and left windscreen wiper.
Investigations and closed-circuit television footage revealed that Quek was the one who cut the lorry cables.
He also admitted to cutting the cable in the prime mover. He claimed that he did not know the function of this cable, choosing it as it was behind the mover's exhaust and the only one he could easily access from outside the vehicle.
The cable was repaired for S$2,472.
Quek was later fired from his job. He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of committing mischief with intent to cause wrongful damage to the prime mover, with a second charge for the lorry taken into consideration.
The prosecutor asked for a fine of S$5,000, noting that Quek had "some malicious intent to cause trouble for his colleague", and that the damage caused was more than S$2,000.
However, he also considered the fact that Quek had voluntarily disclosed the prime mover offence.
The prosecutor did not press for jail as he said the cut cable "did not relate to the primary driving functions of the vehicle", and the fine sought was about two times the damage caused.
Asked if he had anything to say in mitigation, Quek shook his head.
For mischief causing damage of S$500 and above, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.