SINGAPORE: A teacher has been fined S$6,000 for theft. 22—year—old Feng Tian Tian, who is from China, admitted that she had stolen S$719 in cash and an iPhone 4S from seven people at the teachers’ lounge in Woodgrove Secondary School.
She committed the offences between March and August 2012.
The prosecution proceeded with three of eight theft charges.
Feng, who had been teaching Mandarin in the school, would pretend to be unwell and skip the morning assembly. She would then go to the teachers’ lounge to steal.
In mitigation, Feng’s lawyer said his client was selected to take part in a teachers’ award scheme organised by China and Singapore’s education ministry. Under the programme, talented young teachers from China are posted to secondary schools here on a one—year stint.
Feng’s lawyer said she was initially very enthusiastic, but found it hard to adjust to life here. He added that Feng’s mother faced financial woes in China and this created added pressure on his client, who was said to be suffering from depression.
At the same time, her relationship with her boyfriend was on the rocks.
The lawyer added that the amount stolen was "very small" and that Feng has been very cooperative with the authorities. Full restitution was also made to the victims.
However, the prosecution said the psychiatric report did not state the presence of a causal link between Feng’s depression and her actions.
The district judge said that no matter how difficult it was for Feng to adjust to life here, there was no excuse to steal. He noted the calculated manner in which she committed the offences and highlighted the fact that she was a teacher.
Given the full compensation she had made and the fact that she pleaded guilty early, the judge said a jail term was not required.
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