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Man fined for pouring hand sanitiser provided in lift on the floor, tearing down posters

Man fined for pouring hand sanitiser provided in lift on the floor, tearing down posters

A person using hand sanitiser. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: A man who poured hand sanitiser all over the floor of an HDB lift in Bishan and tore down several posters in the lift was fined S$4,000 on Friday (Jul 24).

Low Ken Lum, 50, pleaded guilty to two charges of mischief for his acts, which he knew would cause damages to Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council.

The court heard that the town council had received feedback from a resident on multiple occasions between Mar 14 and Mar 30 this year. The resident said that posters and hand sanitiser bottles placed inside a lift at Block 182, Bishan Street 23, had been damaged.

A town council officer lodged a police report on Apr 1. Investigations revealed that Low damaged the items on two occasions in March.

At about 4.36am on Mar 21, Low removed a hand sanitiser bottle that had been placed in the lift for common use and poured the liquid on the floor.

He also tore down two posters in the lift and threw them on the floor before exiting the lift.

A few days later on Mar 27, Low entered the lift and did the same again - pouring the hand sanitiser on the floor and tearing down two posters.

His actions were caught on closed-circuit television both times.

Low claimed he had poured the hand sanitiser on the floor to "disinfect the lift", and admitted to taking the bottles home on other occasions for his own use.

As for the posters, he said he tore them down as they were not put up properly, and that he wanted to put them up properly with his own tape but "forgot to do so".

Low's actions caused wrongful loss to the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council, said the prosecutor. It had to replace the posters, while the People's Association had to replace the hand sanitiser.

The posters cost S$5 each, while the value of the hand sanitiser was not specified. Low has not made any restitution for either.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wee Hao left the sentence to the court, and did not object to a fine. He said it was inconsiderate of Low to misuse public property that had been placed in the lift for residents' use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he also noted that the value of the items was low.

Low told the court that his intentions were not "evil", adding that he had wanted to "kill as many virus as possible" as the lift was "smelly and unhygienic".

He has a skin condition and is very particular about cleanliness, said Low, asking for leniency. He added that he had not covered his face in the lift despite knowing that there was a CCTV.

For each count of mischief, Low could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll

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