Man who threatened to burn down family's Tampines flat jailed 15 months

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

A man who threatened to burn down his family’s Tampines flat and then cut the hose on of LPG gas cylinder was jailed 15 months on Tuesday (12 September).

Appearing in the State Courts, 39-year-old Khairudin Mohamed pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal intimidation and one charge of committing a rash act that endangered the safety of his mother, 67-year-old Safiah Che’mat Aliman. The offences took place in January this year.

By threatening his mother, Kharudin had also breached the Personal Protection Order (PPO) that she had obtained against him in April 2007 although this charge was taken into consideration.

The court also chose not to proceed on two other charges: one for a rash act involving him setting a Quran on fire and the other for an act of mischief in which he damaged a door in his family home with a spray can. These offences had taken place on 2 June 2016.

Cut hose to LPG gas cylinder

On 27 January, Khairudin had returned to the Tampines flat where he lived with Safiah and asked her for money, court documents said. She gave him $40 but he angrily asked for more.

Khairudin left the flat after Safiah said that she had no more money to offer him. Later that day, she received a call from Khairudin’s girlfriend, Nora, who hung up after learning that her boyfriend was not at home.

Safiah informed Khairudin about the call when he came home, which sent her son flying into a rage.

Khairudin threatened to burn down the flat and even went so far as to cut the hose of an LPG gas cylinder in the home’s kitchen with a pair of scissors. With the gas cylinder in hand, Khairudin then said to his mother in Malay, “You thought I was just joking. This time, it’s for real.”

Alarmed by her son’s behaviour, Safiah then called the police before leaving the flat. Khairudin was later arrested by police officers who arrived at the unit.

History of offences, mental illness

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kelly Ho asked for 12 months’ jail for the criminal intimidation charge and at least a months’ jail for the charge of committing a rash act, citing Khairudin’s similar past offences as aggravating factors.

Khairudin had been sentenced to two months’ jail in 2005 for threatening to kill his girlfriend and her baby and was also jailed seven months in 2007 for threatening his mother.

His lawyer, Low Jianhui, said that Khairudin is the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffered a stroke in April this year and is currently under the care of Khairudin’s uncle.

Low added that his client had a long history of mental illness, including being diagnosed with depression and anti-social personality disorder between 2007 and 2008.

However, Low also admitted that there was no contributory link between the offences committed and Khairudin’s psychiatric condition, and asked for a sentence of between nine and 12 months’ jail

DPP Ho objected to the defence’s claim that Khairudin was his mother’s primary caregiver, noting that she had taken out a PPO against him.

District Judge Eddy Tham said that Khairudin had used threatening words on his mother and placed her in imminent danger. He added that the accused had conducted himself in a “deplorable manner” and lost his temper unreasonably.

Before being led out of court, Khairudin began yelling and accused the court of being “corrupted”.

For the rash act, Khairudin could have been jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $2,500. For criminal intimidation, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined.

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