Landscape technician who stuck toothpicks in bus seats fined $3,600, ordered to pay $326 compensation

A Landscape technician, Lim Lye Seng, 60, who stuck toothpicks into bus seats on four occasions, was fined $3,600 and ordered to compensate $325.91 for damages caused by the court on Monday (Nov 6). 

Lim pleaded guilty to two counts of mischief committed on SBS Transit service 123M on July 22 and Aug 4 respectively. 

Two other similar charges were taken into consideration during the sentencing, reports The Straits Times

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow emphasised that he wanted to make it clear that he did not impose a jail sentence not because Lim's actions were 'acceptable and excusable'.

He added:

"No one should be excused for doing these things, especially not someone like you, a 60-year-old."

The court heard that Lim took the toothpicks from a coffee shop opposite Tiong Bahru MRT Station on Aug 4.

After boarding the bus at around 6.20am, he perforated the seat next to his by piercing it with three toothpicks as the bus was travelling along Lower Delta Road.

The bus captain completed the trip at 6.40am, parking the bus at HarbourFront Bus Interchange.

He discovered seats had been damaged and informed an SBS Transit operations officer, who promptly alerted the police. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur said:

"The accused admitted to committing the offences because he was bored and he wanted to play a prank on others.

"He further admitted that he was aware that his actions could have caused hurt to passengers on board SBS bus 123M."

Lim could have been jailed for up to a year and/or fined on each of the two charges.

If he is unable to pay the fine, he will serve eight days' jail.