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Recalcitrant prank caller calls police 31 times on the day he's released from jail

Recalcitrant prank caller calls police 31 times on the day he's released from jail

File photo of public phones in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A recalcitrant prank caller who has been in and out of court since 1996 made 31 nuisance calls to the police on the day he was released from prison.

For that, 59-year-old Pay Kiaw Keng was sentenced to 21 months' jail on Tuesday (Dec 11).

Pay, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty to eight charges of making annoying phone calls to emergency telephone numbers, with another 24 charges taken into consideration.

The court heard that Pay was released from Changi Prison on Jun 6 this year after being incarcerated for similar offences.

He immediately went to a coffee shop in Hougang to drink alcohol, downing more than 10 large bottles of beer from lunch time.

He went to a supermarket nearby and bought nine more bottles of beer, which he went to a nearby void deck to drink.

While doing so, he noticed a public payphone nearby and began making numerous nuisance calls to the 999 police hotline while drunk.

READ: Man who has been prank calling police since 2000 sentenced to 3 years' jail

Pay was largely incoherent in the 31 calls he made to the police.

After making these calls, he returned to his brother's flat, where he caused a ruckus and irritated his brother.

He then went out to buy more beer and returned to the flat where he again caused a scene, until his brother locked him outside and called the police.

HE HAS BEEN CONVICTED MORE THAN 10 TIMES: PROSECUTOR

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun asked for a sentence of no less than 21 months' jail, pointing out that Pay's brushes with the law began in 1996.

Since then, he has had more than 10 sets of convictions involving either sending false messages or making nuisance calls. He was last sentenced to 14 months' jail in 2017 for sending false messages and making nuisance calls.

The prosecutor added that Pay, who has alcohol-dependent syndrome, re-offended on the day of his release and was intoxicated.

It is a serious offence to abuse emergency hotline numbers as this clogs up the lines, he said.

READ: 'Hello police - what's the time?': Nuisance 999 calls can delay responses to real emergencies

Pay's defence lawyer begged for leniency and mercy, asking the judge to impose a mandatory treatment order instead as jail time "did not help".

In response, the prosecutor said: "If he's serious about seeking treatment, he can seek treatment in prison."

District Judge Eddy Tham imposed the sentence the prosecution called for, telling Pay to "think and reflect carefully what you want to do with your life when you come out".

Source: CNA/ll(hm)

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