Upset at being fired from his job as a cleaner, he sought revenge by hurling a molotov cocktail into his former employer’s office.
For committing mischief by fire, 50-year-old Rahim Hasan was sentenced to 14 months jail by District Judge Samuel H. K. Chua at the State Courts on Thursday (22 March).
According to court documents, Rahim’s manager found out last December that he had been stealing on the job. His manager dismissed him on 6 December.
Rahim felt he was unfairly treated as he had not been allowed to explain himself. At around midnight on 8 December, he returned to his former workplace clad in a sleeveless black T-shirt, black shorts, and a black cap.
Security footage showed him carrying a bottle. Rahim had stuffed old rags into it, a quarter of which was filled with flammable thinner – he had made a molotov cocktail.
He then lit the rags and threw the incendiary device at the office’s glass door. It broke through and landed in the doorway.
A former colleague of Rahim arrived the next morning to find the glass door smashed and the office floor covered in soot. The police were then called in. The cost of repairing the office door came up to $430.
Throwing an incendiary device into an office environment had “high potential for harm” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenny Yang, who also noted that Rahim had planned his attack days in advance.
Given that Rahim had used an incendiary weapon made from household items, there was also a “clear public interest” for a deterrent sentence, said Yang, who asked for a jail term of at least 15 months.
Rahim, who was unrepresented, said in Malay that he felt unfairly treated after being “terminated on the spot” by his manager despite having returned the item he had allegedly stolen.
Claiming that this was his first offence, Rahim also asked for leniency as he had aged parents to support. However, Yang pointed out that Rahim had been arrested in 2009 for voluntarily causing hurt to his younger sister.
Rahim was granted one month’s bail – set at $15,000 – in order to work and raise funds for his parents before beginning this sentence.
For committing mischief by fire, he could have been jailed up to seven years, fined, or both.
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