SINGAPORE: A pair of twin sisters who gatecrashed a wedding and made off with the bride's luggage was sentenced to jail on Thursday (Jul 5).
Before they turned up at the wedding of a couple they did not know on Nov 19 last year, the twins had gone on a "shoplifting spree" in Bugis Junction, the court heard.
The twins, Tiffany Kang Pei Yi and Tiziana Kang Pei Ying, both 30, had gone to the Guess accessories store at 230 Victoria Street where they left with three Guess handbags, valued at S$567 in total, and a Guess wallet worth S$75. All the items had sensor tags still attached to them.
Details of how they got away with the stolen items were not revealed.
Later that same day, the twins went to Shin Yeh Restaurant in Liang Court and joined a wedding banquet being held there.
The sisters did not know the bride and groom - Ms Tan Huiyan, 26, and Mr Jamie Chew Jie Min, 30 - or any of the wedding guests.
When the dinner ended at about 9.30pm, the sisters joined the queue to give blessings to the newlyweds.
While they were queuing, they passed a table where one of the groomsmen, Mr Alvin Koo Jing You, 31, was standing.
TWIN CONVINCED GROOMSMAN TO HAND OVER LUGGAGE BAG
Tiffany told Mr Koo that she had been instructed to collect a pink luggage bag. The bag was hidden under the table and Mr Koo assumed that only insiders would know of it. This led him to hand it over to Tiffany, thinking she had been instructed by the bride or a relative to collect it.
Tiffany left the restaurant with the bag valued at S$45 which belonged to the bride. The bag contained items worth a total of S$151, including a plastic flower bouquet, a roll of film and a box of coloured pens.
When Mr Koo told the newlyweds that he had passed the luggage to Tiffany, they realised that they did not know her or who had invited her.
Friends of the bride saw the twins at the taxi stand at Liang Court around 11pm and stopped them. They called for the newlyweds and Ms Tan verified that the luggage bag was hers.
Tiffany claimed that she thought the bag was a lost item and tried to leave in a cab, but Mr Chew stopped her. He then called the police.
On Thursday, District Judge Eddy Tham sentenced Tiffany to 10 days' jail for theft as well as cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property. Two other charges were taken into consideration.
Her sister Tiziana was sentenced to five days' jail for theft, with two other charges taken into consideration.
TWINS HAVE A HISTORY WITH IMH FROM 2003
Defence lawyer Anand Nalachandran said the twins had a history with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) dating back to 2003 when they were just 13.
"These conditions formed the backdrop of the offences," he said. When asked, he declined to reveal what conditions the twins suffered from.
He added that the pair were adopted as children and they were affected when their aunt, their primary caregiver, died of cancer. They were diagnosed with their conditions a year later, and have "a tumultuous relationship with their foster mother".
The defence lawyer added that they had an argument with their foster mother on the day of the offences.
Asking for a probationary sentence, he said that "all the items have been recovered and there is no loss to any party".
Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Tan responded that probation for adult offenders is an exception rather than the norm. She added that the IMH reports did not indicate that any mental illness contributed to the offences.
"With respect to Tiffany - the IMH report said that she was feeling better before the incident," said the prosecutor.
The judge agreed with the prosecution that probation was "not appropriate given that they are adults and should have known better".