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The Straits Times
December 13, 2022
After downing five glasses of beer at a Holland Village bar, a Belgian man grabbed another customer’s laptop and left the premises with it.
Willy Frida D Burm, a Singapore permanent resident, then stumbled around outside the Wala Wala Cafe Bar, where he was later stopped by police officers.
When the officers arrested him and tried to get him into a police car, Burm headbutted and hurled vulgarities at one of them.
On Tuesday, Burm, 56, was sentenced to four weeks’ jail and fined $2,500 after he pleaded guilty to one count of using criminal force to deter a public servant from doing his duty and another count of using abusive language against a public servant.
Three other charges were taken into consideration.
In January 2020, Burm had some wine at a tapas bar at VivoCity before making his way to Wala Wala, where he drank beer.
Some time after 6pm, Burm walked over to another customer and grabbed his laptop. He then hit the table with the laptop three times.
When a bouncer attempted to intervene, Burm refused to let go of the laptop and left the bar with it.
A member of the public, who had witnessed this incident, called the police, informing them that two customers were having a heated argument.
After he left Wala Wala, Burm was approached by police officers who asked him to hand over the laptop, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Sruthi Boppana.
Burm then held the laptop over his head, threatened to drop it on the ground, and eventually did so. The laptop was damaged as a result.
In sentencing, District Judge Jasvender Kaur noted that Burm had displayed a blatant disregard for the authority of the police officers.
Defence lawyer Cheryl Sim, who was representing Burm, said: “The accused is ready to take responsibility for his actions. Not only have these crime proceedings cast a dark shadow over his life, (they) have taken a toll on his emotional and mental well-being.”
For using criminal force against a public servant, an offender can be jailed for up to four years, fined or both.
Those convicted of harassing a public servant can be jailed for up to a year, fined up to $5,000, or both.