Shirtless man burned S'pore flags and his own shorts after non-stop boozing, walked home naked

Samuel Devaraj
The Straits Times
Jun 27, 2023

After drinking alcohol non-stop on National Day 2022, a shirtless man started a fire near a coffee shop and burned decorations and Singapore flags.

He then threw his shorts in the flames and walked home naked.

On Tuesday, Chen Yongsheng, 40, was sentenced to 70 hours of community service and was told to serve a day reporting order (DRO) of three months.

This means that instead of spending time behind bars, he must report to a day reporting centre for monitoring and counselling.

DROs are administered by the Singapore Prison Service.

Chen, who had pleaded guilty to a mischief charge in April, had a charge of appearing nude in public taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jonathan Tan said Chen had attended an event at the coffee shop on the first floor of the block where he lives on Aug 9, 2022.

Chen started drinking in the afternoon, consuming between four and six bottles of beer and almost half a bottle of liquor.

After the event ended at night, he returned home and continued drinking the rest of the liquor.

At about 2am, he left his home wearing only shorts and slippers and, carrying a beer bottle, he took the lift to the first floor.

He then walked to the coffee shop where he had attended the event and started setting fire to boxes and joss paper next to an incense bin.

Chen retrieved items from the coffee shop and the surrounding area, including triangle pennant National day decorations and four Singapore flags attached to wooden poles.

He then threw them in the fire.

At about 3.30am, he threw his shorts into the fire and returned home naked. The prosecution said the fire died out eventually and no further damage was caused.

On Aug 10, 2022, a constituency manager filed a report to say that he had received information of the existence of a video and pictures of a topless man burning National Day decorations at Block 115A Canberra Walk.

Chen was arrested on Aug 10, 2022. The total estimated value of the pennants and flags destroyed was $46.60.

In court on Tuesday, Chen, whose lawyer discharged himself due to illness, agreed to comply to the conditions of the order imposed on him.

District Judge Prem Raj said it was positive that Chen had stopped meeting friends for drinks and was instead spending time with his four children.

The judge said if Chen were to reoffend because of his drinking problem, he would likely get a jail term as all other means to assist him would have been exhausted.

For committing mischief, Chen could have been jailed for up to two years, fined or both.

The Straits Times

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