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3 years’ mandatory treatment for man with schizophrenia who threw raw pork bones at mosque

SINGAPORE — A 58-year-old man was sentenced to a three-year mandatory treatment order on Wednesday (Oct 13) for tossing raw pork bones towards the balcony of a mosque.

3 years’ mandatory treatment for man with schizophrenia who threw raw pork bones at mosque

Lim Beng Wei (pictured) pleaded guilty to one count of committing public nuisance.

SINGAPORE — A 58-year-old man was sentenced to a three-year mandatory treatment order on Wednesday (Oct 13) for tossing raw pork bones towards the balcony of a mosque.

Lim Beng Wei, who did not take all his prescribed medication for schizophrenia, pleaded guilty last month to one count of committing public nuisance earlier this year. 

He had suffered from the mental disorder for more than 20 years and relapsed twice previously.

District Judge Kessler Soh took into consideration two other charges — one in relation to throwing butter on a wall of the Singapore Music Box Museum — for sentencing purposes.

A mandatory treatment order is a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence.

They will have to go for treatment with a court-appointed psychiatrist for up to three years.

This is not Lim’s first time being handed such a treatment order. 

In 2019, he was given a two-year order for smashing glass panels in his lifts in his neighbourhood, believing they harboured evil spirits.

He was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1998 and assessed to have had various relapses in 2011 and 2018.

The court previously heard that on the morning of Jan 14 this year, Lim bought a packet of raw pork bones from an NTUC FairPrice supermarket in Tanjong Pagar.

He then went to Masjid Al-Abrar along Telok Ayer Street, located close to the Singapore Music Box Museum.

When he got to the mosque at about 11am, he stood outside and threw one of the bones towards the second-floor balcony of the mosque.

About two hours later, the police received a call from a museum employee, who said that someone had thrown butter on the exterior wall of the museum. 

When police officers reviewed closed-circuit television footage from the cameras of nearby buildings to identify who had thrown the butter, they saw Lim walking towards the mosque with a white plastic bag a few hours earlier.

Court documents showed that Lim had thrown another raw pork bone at the same mosque two days before this.

When he was last given a mandatory treatment order, he regularly attended his outpatient appointments. 

But he reported side effects from the injections he was taking to treat his schizophrenia and depression, and began taking only oral medication.

A person who has schizophrenia may have hallucinations such as hearing voices that do not exist, and have paranoia or delusions of being followed or controlled. Antipsychotic medication is essential in treatment and must be adhered to for symptom control.

A psychiatrist found that Lim had relapsed at the time of his offences. His psychotic symptoms contributed to them and he had admitted to being only partially compliant with his medication.

However, he was not of unsound mind and was aware of the nature and quality of his actions, the psychiatrist stated.

Those convicted of public nuisance can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$2,000, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime Mosque schizophrenia pork

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