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Man with schizophrenia pleads guilty to throwing raw pork bones towards mosque balcony

SINGAPORE — A 57-year-old man, who did not take all his prescribed medication for paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty on Thursday (Sept 9) to one count of committing public nuisance earlier this year. He had thrown raw pork bones towards a balcony of a mosque.

Man with schizophrenia pleads guilty to throwing raw pork bones towards mosque balcony

Lim Beng Wei (pictured), who did not take all his prescribed medication for paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty to one count of committing public nuisance.

SINGAPORE — A 57-year-old man, who did not take all his prescribed medication for paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty on Thursday (Sept 9) to one count of committing public nuisance earlier this year. He had thrown raw pork bones towards a balcony of a mosque. 

Lim Beng Wei will also have two other charges — one in relation to throwing butter on a wall of the Singapore Music Box Museum — taken into consideration for sentencing on Oct 13.

District Judge Kessler Soh called for a report to assess if he was suitable for a mandatory treatment order — a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence. 

As part of this sentencing option, offenders will have to go for treatment with a court-appointed psychiatrist for up to three years.

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

'ATTACKED BY SPIRITS'

The court 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.

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

While he regularly attended his outpatient appointments, he reported side effects from the injections he was taking to treat his schizophrenia and depression. He then began only taking 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.

On Thursday, Lim — who was out on bail — claimed that he had been attacked by spirits and had to defend himself. His lawyer Lim Yong agreed with the prosecution that a mandatory treatment order report should be called.

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 schizophrenia Mosque museum

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