SINGAPORE: A man who set off fireworks on Deepavali last year and lied to the police about it was sentenced to jail for three weeks and fined S$5,000 on Thursday (Apr 11).
Jeevan Arjoon, a 29-year-old Singaporean, pleaded guilty to one charge of discharging dangerous fireworks and another charge of giving false information to the police.
The court heard that Jeevan had gone to a bazaar in Little India during Deepavali last year and bought four packs of fireworks from an unidentified peddler.
After this, he met his family and friends who were at a playground beside Block 513A, Yishun Street 51.
The group proceeded to an open field across from the block and Jeevan lit the fuse for all four sets of fireworks.
"Based on witness accounts, the fireworks were loud enough to be heard from the surrounding HDB blocks," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Sue Jean.
The pyrotechnics lasted three to five minutes and went above seven floors, but no property was damaged and no one was hurt.
"The accused's family members were unaware that the accused was setting off fireworks," said the prosecutor.
At about 3.30am on Nov 6, 2018, a man called the police saying: "I heard loud explosion at the ground floor."
Jeevan was arrested by the police and taken to Ang Mo Kio Police Division a day later.
HE TRIED TO PIN BLAME ON INNOCENT MAN
In his statement, he first said that both him and another man, Singaporean Mattavan Michael Douglas, had bought the fireworks together.
However, he later denied having any part in the purchase of the fireworks, saying: "Actually I did not buy the sparklers with Michael. Michael had told us that he bought the sparklers when he was at the bazaar in Birch Road, but none of us saw him buy it."
He eventually admitted that he had bought the fireworks on his own and had lied about Michael buying them in order to push the blame to him and take revenge on him, as Michael had told the police that Jeevan was the one who set off the fireworks.
Jeevan told the court he was remorseful and was the sole breadwinner for his family, which includes his visually impaired mother-in-law.
He asked for leniency and a lighter sentence so that he could return to his job as a chemical surveyor.
District Judge Marvin Bay said the court has to take a very strict view as fireworks "can cause serious injuries and by their incendiary nature also hold a risk of fire".
He added that the court took "a very dim view" of Jeevan's attempt to implicate an innocent party.
Two other unrelated charges that Jeevan faces, involving the sale of a chihuahua, were stood down.