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Man jailed for starting car park fire outside Boon Lay Shopping Centre

Man jailed for starting car park fire outside Boon Lay Shopping Centre

Screengrabs of video showing five motorcycles and one car on fire on Oct 17, 2018, outside Boon Lay Shopping Centre.

SINGAPORE: A man who started a fire at a car park outside Boon Lay Shopping Centre was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' jail on Wednesday (Jul 10).

Loh Hsien Aik, 34, was drunk at about 12.50am on Oct 17 last year when he felt the urge to "set something on fire", the court heard.

He used a lighter to start a small flame on the seat of a motorcycle parked at the car park near Block 221, Boon Lay Place.

As he walked away, he turned and saw that the fire had become bigger, engulfing another motorcycle as well as the side of a BMW parked nearby.

Loh lingered in the area but did not call the police or the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

A passer-by having dinner at a coffee shop nearby saw the blaze and called the police.

By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had spread to six vehicles - five motorcycles and one car, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhas Malhotra.

All the vehicles were damaged, five of them extensively. The damage to the vehicles ranged between S$5,000 and S$66,500, with the total amounting to about S$103,000.

The police located Loh and arrested him the following day, seizing his lighter and clothing.

Loh admitted to one charge of mischief by fire, with another charge taken into consideration for sentencing.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan ordered the seized lighter and Loh's clothes to be forfeited to the police for disposal.

For committing mischief by fire knowing it was likely to cause damage to property, Loh could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

Source: CNA/ll(aj)

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