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Man jailed after calling IMH with murder threat, later found in Woodlands park with large chopper

SINGAPORE — A man called his case officer at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and told her that he wanted to "kill people" and "kill everyone", prompting the woman to file a police report that sparked an island-wide search for the man.

The court heard that Mustaqim Zakaria told his case officer at the Institute of Mental Health that he wanted to "kill everyone".
The court heard that Mustaqim Zakaria told his case officer at the Institute of Mental Health that he wanted to "kill everyone".

SINGAPORE — A man called his case officer at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and told her that he wanted to "kill people" and "kill everyone", prompting the woman to file a police report that sparked an island-wide search for the man.

He was eventually found at a public park in Woodlands that evening in possession of a chopper and was later arrested.

On Tuesday (March 15), Mustaqim Zakaria, 22, was jailed for 21 weeks after pleading guilty to one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act and one charge of carrying a weapon that may cause hurt.

The court heard that on Jan 13 this year, the case manager received a call at about 5pm from Mustaqim who shouted at her and said to her in Malay, “I want to kill people” and “I want to kill everyone”.

Court documents did not state why he was a patient at IMH at that time.

The officer, feeling alarmed and distressed, made a police report, which sparked an island-wide search for the man.

Mustaqim was found at 8.45pm that same day at Woodlands Waterfront Park. A search of his personal belongings found a 30.5cm chopper with a blade measuring 18.5cm.

Police investigations found that after making the threatening phone call, Mustaqim had gone to a supermarket to buy the chopper, before concealing it in a plastic bag and boarding a bus to the park.

Investigations further revealed that he had bought the knife because he wanted to kill his father out of anger for disowning him.

The prosecution sought a prison term of between 21 and 26 weeks.

When asked by the judge for his mitigation plea, Mustaqim, who appeared via video link from remand and without legal representation, responded: “How about my phone? My phone is with my IO (investigation officer).”

You are more concerned about your phone, not how long you will be in prison for?
Deputy Principal District Judge Luke Tan, after Mustaqim asked for his phone back

“You are more concerned about your phone, not how long you will be in prison for?” Deputy Principal District Judge Luke Tan asked, questioning again if Mustaqim had anything to say in mitigation.

“No, ah, nothing, nothing,” Mustaqim replied.

In delivering the sentence, the judge said that he found it hard not to grant the sentence recommended by the prosecution, noting that Mustaqim had been convicted previously for similar offences.

The judge sentenced him to 21 weeks' jail for the offence of being armed with a weapon and a one-week jail term for the offence under the Protection from Harassment Act, to be served concurrently.

For carrying a weapon that may cause hurt, Mustaqim could have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both. 

An offence under the Protection from Harassment Act carries a jail term up to 12 months or a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.

Related topics

court crime IMH chopper death threat Protection from Harassment Act weapon

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