German Vandals Sentence To Nine Months Jail And Three Strokes Of Cane

SThe two Germans who trespassed on Bishan Depot last year to scrawl graffiti on an SMRT train have each been sentenced to nine months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.

Andreas Von Knorres, 22, and Elton Hinz, 21, each pleaded guilty yesterday to two charges of unauthorised entry into the depot, as well as to a third charge of vandalising the train.

In announcing the sentencing, District Judge Liew Thiam Leng said it had to serve to deter others from committing similar offences.

The court heard that at about 2.20am on Nov 7, the duo entered Bishan Depot through the drainage system. To reach the level where the trains were located, they had to scale a wall. They observed where the trains were and left the depot the same way they had entered.

The next day at about 2.48am, the men entered the depot again, using the same route, and climbed to the level where the trains were located. There, they took a selfie of themselves in front of a train. They then began spraying graffiti, 10m in length and 1.8m in width, on the left side of the train, using 12 cans of spray paint they had bought two days earlier. The duo later threw the cans under some wooden crates near the rail tracks and left the depot the same way they had entered.

Von Knorres and Hinz reportedly left Singapore on Nov 8, but were arrested on Nov 20 by the Malaysian police at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where they were about to board a plane to Australia. The two men have been in remand in Singapore since Nov 22 and their prison sentences will be backdated to that date.

Further investigations showed that Von Knorres and Hinz worked in Australia and that they had committed the offences while on their first visit to Singapore.

The duo’s case — the second security breach to hit Bishan Depot last year — brought to light security vulnerabilities at the depot, arising from a network of canals and drains running underneath it.

SMRT had stated earlier that it was working with the authorities to “urgently address the identified points of vulnerability to further safeguard the depot and its transport assets”.

The maximum sentence for vandalism is up to three years’ jail, and/or a fine of up to S$2,000, with between three and eight strokes of the cane. Those who trespass on protected areas may be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to S$1,000.



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