SINGAPORE — A 20-year-old man who snuck into cinemas without paying for tickets was on Monday (19 April) sentenced at the State Courts to an eight-month Day Reporting Order.
Joseph Wong Wei Jun would watch multiple movies in different cinema halls before leaving midway to avoid being caught.
He pleaded guilty at a community court last month to two charges of criminal trespass and one count of causing hurt to a staff who tried to restrain him.
Five other similar charges were considered in sentencing.
About the case
On 16 October last year, Wong, who is unemployed, went to the Golden Village cineplex at Junction 8 in Bishan without buying a ticket. He watched several movies and left midway through each movie to avoid staff who would be present at the end.
At about 8.15pm, a cinema staff member spotted Wong leaving a cinema and recalled that Wong had previously entered the cinema without a ticket on another occasion. The staff member then asked Wong to show his ticket but the culprit claimed that he had left it behind.
When the staff member said he would call his manager, Wong tried to flee but the staff member caught up to him along the hallway.
As the staff member was trying to restrain Wong, the culprit scratched the staff member on his face and hands a few times. Security guards later intervened and the police were called.
On 11 February, Wong was again caught trespassing, this time at the Golden Village cineplex at Jurong Point.
When a staff member ushered Wong towards an exit point after a movie, he instead on leaving through the entrance claiming that he wanted to use the toilet on the premises.
The staff member did not recall seeing Wong entering with a ticket and recognised him from previous trespassing incidents.
She grabbed Wong by the hand and led him to the ticketing counter but he broke free and fled. The staff member sustained a scratch on her left wrist.
CCTV footage showed that Wong had entered the cinema hall through its exit doors, which were connected to a staircase leading to an exit on the first floor of the building.
As part of his sentence, Wong will have to be electronically tagged and remain indoors from 10pm to 6am. Wong, who has several mental ailments, will also have to continue psychiatric treatment at the Institute of Mental Health and attend counselling at a family service centre.
During an earlier court session, Wong claimed that his parents had subjected him to physical and verbal abuse when he was young, resulting in him being diagnosed with anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and suicidal thoughts. He said he left home at 17 after taking his O-Level examinations to get away from his abusive parents but wants to reconcile with them.
The punishment for criminal trespass is a jail term of up to three months, a fine of up to $1,500, or both. For causing hurt, the penalty is up to three years' jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore
More Singapore stories: