He set fire to a rope in a rubbish bin at a lift landing in a block in Yishun by using a lighter he had found earlier in a drain, before calling the police to inform them about the fire.
Just minutes earlier, Yap Jinli Alan also set fire to a letterbox area at another block in Yishun Avenue 11.
The 35-year-old Singaporean was later found hiding behind a pillar by police officers who had arrived at the scene to look into the rubbish bin incident.
Yap was sentenced to two months’ jail on Thursday (23 November) after pleading guilty in the State Courts to one charge of committing mischief by fire. Another similar charge for setting fire to the letterbox area was taken into consideration during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang told the court that the incidents were sparked by Yap’s unhappiness with the police, who had contacted his mother. The former dishwasher also felt stress, Pang added. It was unclear why the police had contacted Yap’s mother.
The first incident happened at about 3.12am on 17 September 2017 at the letterbox area of Blk 423 Yishun Avenue 11 while the second incident took place 18 minutes later at the lift landing of the ground floor in Blk 424A Yishun Avenue 11.
Yap called the police at 4.03am to inform them that “the rubbish bin is on fire again”. By the time the police and firefighters arrived, a quarter of the bin had melted. The bin was valued at about $69.
For committing mischief by fire with the intention to cause damage to any property, Yap could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.