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Repeat offender who stole carrot, keys from childcare centre gets 5 years’ corrective training, 6 strokes

SINGAPORE — A repeat offender who broke into a childcare centre through an open window to steal a carrot as he was hungry — along with two keys to the premises — was sentenced to five years of corrective training in jail and six strokes of the cane on Friday (Jan 10).

The court heard that Affendi Yusoff, 45, was hungry so he entered the childcare centre at night through an open window and stole a carrot to eat, along with keys to the premises.

The court heard that Affendi Yusoff, 45, was hungry so he entered the childcare centre at night through an open window and stole a carrot to eat, along with keys to the premises.

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SINGAPORE — A repeat offender who broke into a childcare centre through an open window to steal a carrot as he was hungry — along with two keys to the premises — was sentenced to five years of corrective training in jail and six strokes of the cane on Friday (Jan 10).

Affendi Yusoff, 45, a cleaner, has a long history of dishonesty and property-related offences dating back to 1990, and accumulated 15 years’ jail and 16 strokes of the cane between 1997 and 2002, the court heard.

His high risk of reoffending after his release meant that a corrective training sentence was necessary, said state prosecutors.

Corrective training, which is typically given to habitual offenders and is considered a harsher form of imprisonment, carries a minimum five-year jail term and no early release for good behaviour is allowed.

Affendi pleaded guilty in the State Courts to housebreaking and theft by night, which carries a penalty of between two and 14 years’ jail, and caning

The court heard that on June 9 last year, Affendi had decided to spend the night at 7, Gambas Crescent, where he worked as a cleaner.

He woke up in the middle in the night and, feeling hungry, decided to walk around the building in search of food.

When he walked past Urban Kids Childcare, one of the tenants in the building, he noticed that its windows had been left open.

Affendi decided to climb through one of the windows, then went to the pantry’s refrigerator, took a stick of carrot and ate it. Court documents said the carrot was worth 35 cents.

He then ransacked the shelves and drawers in the office of the childcare centre and dishonestly removed the keys to the backdoor and toilet of the centre, the court heard. The two keys were valued at S$7 altogether. After that, Affendi left the centre.

The crime was discovered the next day by the principal of the childcare centre, who noticed the mess in the office. Drawers were missing or left opened, and bags containing snacks that were originally stored in the pantry were found lying on the office floor.

The principal called the police. Before they arrived, Affendi was asked by a staff member if he had seen any break-in, but he feigned ignorance. However, he eventually admitted to breaking into the centre to the police, who had been suspicious of Affendi.

In his written submissions to the court, Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng noted that Affendi was a “habitual offender with blatant disregard for the property of others’’.

He pointed out that Affendi had been offending “with consistent regularity” since 1990. The most recent offence was another of attempted housebreaking by night, for which Affendi was given seven years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

Affendi has been assessed to have about a 70 per cent chance of reoffending within two years of release from prison, he added.

“It cannot escape notice that the accused has been sentenced to lengthy terms of incarceration for his previous housebreaking by night offences… However, it is clear that these significant, lengthy terms of imprisonment were insufficient to deter him and have done little to rehabilitate him from his further offending conduct,” said Mr Ng.

In passing the sentence, District Judge Ong Chin Rhu took some time to ponder the decision, stating that she had to consider the nature of his past offences and whether the sentence would be able to stop him from reoffending.

Related topics

court crime theft corrective training

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