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Indian origin habitual prank caller sentenced to 3 years prison in Singapore

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Singapore, Sept 6: An Indian-origin Singaporean serial prank caller was sentenced to three years of imprisonment on Thursday (Sep 6) for repeatedly making nuisance calls to the police, despite being jailed for the same offence previously.

Gurcharan Singh, a 61-year-old cleaner, usually made the "999" emergency calls after drinking alcohol, the court heard. The latest incidents occurred over two days in June, with Singh making two calls on the first day and 15 on the second. On June 10, Singh called the police using a public phone at a void deck of an apartment block in Chai Chee housing estate. In one of his calls, he told the operator: "You are stupid." He also said: "I put one dynamite to the immigration house." He knew this message to be false, Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim said.

Representational photo

The police traced Singh's phone call location and arrested him that day, according to a Channel News Asia report. Three empty beer cans were also recovered from his possession, it said. Despite this, Singh made another 15 calls to the police, all in one day, later that month.

Singh has been reoffending since 2000, with the most recent conviction in 2016, when he was sentenced to two-year jail term, the prosecutor said. Lim asked for a jail sentence of three years and nine months, noting that Singh reoffended while out on bail and breached his remission order, which makes him liable for an enhanced jail term. "His underlying problem is alcohol use disorder," said Lim, adding that any nuisance calls made to the police deprive people in distress of timely police intervention.

District Judge Eddy Tham observed that Singh's "main issue is that of drinking" and "after drinking, the accused gets into all kinds of trouble". Singh, who was unrepresented, apologised and pleaded for a lighter sentence. However, the judge told Singh that his alcohol problem was a result of learned behaviour and his offences committed while he was in a state of intoxication were very serious, as they affected an important public service. Sentencing him to three years of imprisonment, the court also ordered an additional enhanced jail term of 66 days for breaching his remission order.


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