SINGAPORE: A man was fined S$2,000 by a court on Monday (Sep 19) for using a key to scratch a car that was parked in his favorite lot at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Pang Kok Wai, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of mischief, with a second similar charge taken into consideration.
The court heard that Pang was working as a crane operator at the time.
On the morning of March 9 this year, he drove to Car Park 10 at NUS in Lower Kent Ridge Road. He worked in the area and frequently parked there, but found that the car park was full.
Feeling frustrated, he drove off and parked further away. He returned to the car park on foot minutes later and saw another car parked in lot 234, which was his favorite lot.
Pang took out his house key and used it to scratch the car, before walking to his workplace.
The victim returned to his vehicle later that day after attending a course at NUS and discovered a long scratch from the front door to his rear door.
He sent his car for repairs and paid S$428 for the damages. The victim lodged a police report, and Pang was identified as the culprit. He paid the victim for the repairs in full.
Investigations revealed that he had also scratched another car that was parked in the same lot several days earlier on Mar 1, 2022.
The prosecutor sought a fine of at least S$2,000 to S$3,000, noting that Pang had no previous convictions.
He said “there was no excuse” for Pang’s actions, which were “totally unwarranted”.
In mitigation, Pang, who was unrepresented, admitted his mistake and said he felt sorry to the owner for causing the damage.
“I am sorry for my actions. I want to apologize to the owner for scratching his car,” he said.
“I wish to state I was in deep stress and unable to control my anger due to my father’s hospitalization and hospital bill. I had some work-related issues with my boss that caused me to be stressed out. I promise not to commit the act again.”
He sought leniency, saying he felt uncomfortable with what he did and that he was put in a “very stressful situation” and keeps “thinking about what will happen to me”.
“I used to have season parking at the car park but was often unable to find a parking lot,” he added. “I was also under a lot of stress and I (feel) very ashamed of what I have done.”
The judge noted that Pang’s actions were unwarranted, and that he committed two offenses in the span of about a week. However, she took into account his remorse, the restitution made and his early plea of guilt.
For mischief, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.