Man admits trespassing into cinema halls to watch movies, scratching GV employees
SINGAPORE — Over several months, a 20-year-old unemployed man trespassed on movie halls belonging to cinema chain Golden Village (GV) five times to watch films without buying tickets.
- Joseph Wong Wei Jun, 20, entered cinema halls without a valid ticket on five occasions
- Once, he scratched a GV staff member several times on his face and hands
- A judge called for reports to assess Wong’s suitability for probation, a mandatory treatment order or day reporting order
SINGAPORE — Over several months, a 20-year-old unemployed man trespassed into movie halls belonging to cinema chain Golden Village (GV) five times to watch films without buying tickets.
On one occasion, Joseph Wong Wei Jun scratched a GV staff member on his face and hands after the employee discovered his tactics.
On Monday (March 15), Wong pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal trespass and a third charge of voluntarily causing hurt.
Five other charges related to trespassing, causing hurt and refusing to give a blood sample will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
The scuffle between Wong and the GV employee, Mr Simon Chai, happened on Oct 16 last year at the GV outlet at Junction 8 shopping mall in Bishan.
At about 8.15pm that day, Mr Chai saw Wong exit a cinema hall and recalled that he previously entered halls without a valid ticket.
Wong could not produce a ticket when approached, saying he left it in the hall. When Mr Chai said he would take Wong to see his manager, Wong fled.
The GV employee gave chase and tried to restrain Wong, who scratched him on his face and hands before security guards intervened.
Wong later admitted entering the premises earlier that afternoon and watching two to four movies in different halls, leaving each one midway to move to another hall to avoid being detected.
This was because staff members would stand at the entrance when movies end.
Court documents did not reveal what movies he watched.
When he was taken to the Central Police Division, Wong refused to allow a blood sample to be taken.
Court documents did not give more information on the purpose of the blood sample or whether he was then released on bail.
SNEAKED INTO MORE CINEMA HALLS
Wong’s brush with law enforcement did not stop him from sneaking into more cinema halls.
In January and February this year, he turned his attention to the GV outlet at Jurong Point mall, trespassing on four occasions.
On Feb 11, Ms Liu Jieqi, a staff member there, was clearing a hall after a movie ended when she spotted Wong standing near the exit.
Noticing her, Wong took the staircase down in the direction of the exit, but came back up a few minutes later.
Ms Liu tried to get him to exit the hall via the same staircase, but he insisted on leaving through the entrance, saying he needed to use the toilet.
She later recalled not seeing him enter the hall with a valid ticket and that he had done this before.
Closed-circuit television footage from the mall captured Wong trespassing by entering through a back door on the first storey, which was linked to the staircase that led to the cinema hall.
Ms Liu grabbed Wong by the hand and took him to the manager’s office to detain him.
But no one was around, so she led him to the ticketing counter with the intention of seeking help from her colleagues.
At this point, Wong broke free from her grip and fled. He left a small scratch on her wrist.
He has been in remand since Feb 27.
District Judge May Mesenas called for reports to assess Wong’s suitability for probation, a mandatory treatment order or a day reporting order.
Probation is usually given to first-time offenders between 16 and 21 years old, and does not result in a recorded criminal conviction.
A mandatory treatment order is offered to offenders with psychiatric conditions that contributed to their offences, for which they must receive treatment.
Those given a day reporting order must be first-time offenders aged 16 or older, who are required to report to a day reporting centre for monitoring, counselling and rehabilitation programmes.
Judges will consider the nature of an offence and an offender’s character in assessing his suitability for such an order.
Wong will return to court on April 5.
For criminal trespass, he could be jailed up to three months or fined up to S$1,500, or both.
For voluntarily causing hurt, he faces up to three years' jail or a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.