SINGAPORE: Unhappy with a colleague as he felt she liked to gossip, a security guard squirted a few pumps of hand sanitiser into the woman's water bottle at a condominium guard house.
When the 54-year-old victim drank from her bottle, she caught a strong taste of hand sanitiser and spat out the liquid. She also felt pain in her throat.
Dilip Kumar Gobind, 49, was fined S$4,500 on Thursday (Sep 23) for one count of a rash act likely to cause hurt.
The court heard that both of them worked at a condominium in the eastern part of Singapore.
While on night shift in the wee hours of Apr 13 last year, Dilip decided to play a prank on the victim.
He knew she had a water bottle in the guard house, so he took it and squirted at least two pumps of hand sanitiser into her half-filled bottle.
He did this because he was unhappy with the victim, claiming that she "always liked to gossip about other people" so he wanted to "sanitise her mouth" as a joke.
When the victim went to work later that morning, she drank from the bottle and felt pain in her throat. She informed the operations officer about the incident. The officer reviewed closed-circuit television footage, which showed Dilip squirting hand sanitiser into the bottle.
The victim lodged a police report, and a clinical toxicologist stated in a report that hand sanitiser can cause pain, irritation or damage to the throat, esophagus and stomach if ingested.
However, the degree of injury depends on the concentration of chemicals and the amount ingested.
Dilip told the court: "I regret my actions, your honour, I did it in the spur of the moment."
The judge told him he had endangered the safety of his colleague in the workplace and there was a considerable breach of trust.
For a rash act causing hurt, he could have been jailed for a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.