SINGAPORE: After missing the last bus home, a 23-year-old man suggested stealing motorcycles to get home.
Mohamed Nur Iskhandar Roni, along with two friends, broke into fire hosereel containers and stole master keys which they tried to start motorbike engines with.
When confronted by a passer-by, Iskhandar hit him with a motorcycle helmet his friends had stolen from another bike.
For his crimes, along with a separate charge of criminally intimidating his brother over a mobile phone game, Iskhandar was sentenced to jail for seven months and three weeks on Thursday (Jun 6).
The young man, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has borderline intellectual ability that leads to impulsive behaviour, was also banned from driving for a year.
The court heard that Iskhandar was with his friends, 17-year-old Muhammad Shazwan Ismail and 15-year-old Afi Anaqi Khairun Nizam, near Maude Road in Jalan Besar at around 11.45pm on Apr 23 last year.
Iskhandar told his friends that he had missed his last bus home, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Pavithra Ramkumar, and he and Shazwan suggested stealing motorcycles for each of them to ride home.
The two of them told Afi that keys found in red cabinets containing fire hosereels can be used as master keys to start engines of Yamaha RXZ motorcycles.
The trio then went looking for such keys and the corresponding bikes.
They managed to steal a few keys from fire hosereel containers and tried to start engines of Yamaha RXZ motorcycles nearby, but did not succeed.
ACCUSED MANAGED TO START BIKE, DROVE IT IN CIRCLES
Finally, they found a red Yamaha RXZ motorcycle parked at Block 7 French Road.
At about 3.20am, Iskhandar used one of the stolen keys and managed to kick-start the engine, revving it. However, the engine stalled as he did not engage the clutch properly.
The three men then moved the motorcycle to a darker location nearby to avoid detection and Iskhandar managed to start the engine.
He rode the motorbike in circles on the spot before letting Shazwan take over.
When a member of the public walked by, he asked them in Hokkien: "What time is it already and where are you staying at?"
Iskhandar swung a motorcycle helmet - which his two friends had stolen from another bike - at the elderly man, hitting him in the left ear.
All three were poised to fight him until another passer-by shouted at them to stop. They then fled the scene.
Iskhandar pleaded guilty to four charges of stealing a motorcycle, a key, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
HE THREW ASHTRAY AT BROTHER OVER GAME
The last crime was committed in January this year while Iskhandar was on bail for the motorcycle offences. His younger brother, 17-year-old Mohamed Raushan Roni, had asked Iskhandar to play the game PUBG or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with him on their phones.
Iskhandar agreed but told him to wait for five minutes as he wanted to check Instagram.
His younger brother later said he would start playing the game first when Iskhandar asked him to wait for another five minutes.
This angered Iskhandar, who threw an ashtray at his brother's face, hurting his finger when he blocked it with his hand.
Iskhandar later challenged his brother to go to him while holding a knife concealed in an umbrella, but the boy saw the outline of the weapon and hid.
After being scolded by his mother, Iskhandar brandished a knife at his brother. His older sister called the police while his other family members hid in a room and locked the door.
The prosecution asked for a jail term of at least nine months and one week, saying that Iskhandar was "the one who stood to benefit from the offence" as he had missed the bus home, and played an active role.
Defence lawyer Pramnath Vijayakumar told the court that his client had not been aware of his medical conditions at the time of the offence.
He suffers from ADHD and has borderline intellectual functioning, previously attending a special needs school.
This explains the "almost amateurish and childlike" behaviour, said the lawyer. He added that there was no danger posed to the public as Iskhandar merely rode the bike in circles.
District Judge Marvin Bay said there was "a significant degree of premeditation" in the case even if the situation was opportunistic and motivated by Iskhandar missing the last bus.
He pointed out that Iskhandar had told the group about the fact that fire point hose reel keys could be used to start certain motorcycles, and was "thus prime mover of the motor vehicle theft offence".
While he noted Iskhandar's youth and medical report indicating his condition, he said the court must impose a sentence that would effect self-restraint and deter him from committing further offences.