Swiss man gets caned, jailed for graffiti

June 25, 2010 12:00 am

, SINGAPORE, Jun 25 – A court in Singapore sentenced a Swiss man to five months in jail and three strokes of a wooden cane on Friday for breaking into a metro depot and spray-painting a train with graffiti.

Oliver Fricker, a 32-year-old expatriate working in Singapore as a software consultant, had pleaded guilty to trespass and vandalism, which are considered serious offences in the city-state.

"The total sentence is five months\’ imprisonment, three strokes of the cane," said Judge See Kee Oon.
Fricker showed no emotion as he was led from the courtroom by policemen.

Vandalism is punishable by up to three years in jail or a maximum fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (1,440 US dollars), plus three to eight strokes of a wooden cane, a punishment dating from British colonial rule.

For trespassing into a protected area, Fricker faced up to two years in jail or a fine of 1,000 dollars, or both.

Caning involves being struck with a wooden stick on the back of the thigh below the buttocks, a punishment that can leave lasting scars.

Prosecutors said Fricker and a British friend visiting Singapore in May had broken into a subway depot and spray-painted two carriages as part of a pre-meditated stunt before Fricker was to leave for a new job in Switzerland.

Singapore has launched an international hunt for the 29-year-old Briton, Lloyd Dane Alexander, who allegedly planned the act but left the city-state before he could be caught, leaving Fricker to face the consequences.


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