Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/30/2012 03:12 | By Channel NewsAsia

Electrician sentenced to jail and caning for stealing rifle

Electrician sentenced to jail and caning for stealing rifle

Electrician sentenced to jail and caning for stealing rifle

Singapore: An electrician has been sentenced to jail and caning for stealing a rifle from a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) specialist cadet trainee at Pasir Laba Camp.

Mohammad Ridzuan Jamari, 31, was sentenced to a jail term of five years and three months, as well as three strokes of the cane.

He pleaded guilty to one count of theft and another count of drug consumption.

Mohammad Ridzuan, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, committed the offences on May 8 this year.

He was deployed to work at a construction site in Pasir Laba Camp, where about 100 specialist cadets were on Standard Obstacle Course training nearby.

Mohammad Ridzuan ran beside 22—year—old Mr Kang Tai, as he was running alone towards the finish line.

Mohammad Ridzuan, who was holding a 25—cm long screwdriver, grabbed his shoulder and shouted at him.

Both men struggled but Mohammad Ridzuan managed to snatch the rifle from Mr Kang.

He held onto the rifle for two seconds before it was taken away by Mr Kang’s platoon commander.

Mohammad Ridzuan was arrested later.

Investigations revealed that he had also taken drugs at the army camp.

In an earlier mitigation plea, Mohammad Ridzuan was said to be "very confused" at the time of the incident and had imagined that there were attackers.

His lawyer, Mr K Mathialahan, pointed out that he had no intention of harming anyone, and did not know how to use a rifle.

The court also heard that Mohammad Ridzuan’s schizophrenia was "causal to the offence" and that he would not have committed the offence if he was not suffering from the illness.

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow acknowledged that Mohammad Ridzuan’s mental health issues had a significant impact on his actions.

He said Mohammad Ridzuan had grabbed the rifle "out of a mixture of confusion and desperation" in order to "get help and to ward off his imagined attackers".

He added that while Mohammad Ridzuan did seize the rifle forcibly and held on to it momentarily, it was not his main intention to possess it.

The judge said there were no indications that Mohammad Ridzuan had entered the camp with plans to commit the offence.

The court also heard that there was "little likelihood" that he had planned to flee with the rifle.

— CNA/lp

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