Asia Singapore 61-year-old man pleads guilty to using slingshot to break glass windows of...

61-year-old man pleads guilty to using slingshot to break glass windows of flats during target practice

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After traveling to China to watch the shooting competition, Chan Fan Kheow became a fan of slingshots. He then bought slingshots online and went to the multi-storey car park to practice shooting. As his “technique was too bad”, he shot through the glass windows of two houses in the opposite HDB, and he also got involved in a lawsuit.

Chan, 61, faces four counts of mischief, reckless conduct endangering the life of another, and possession of a weapon in a public place.

According to statement of the facts of the case, in November 2019 when he noticed that slingshots were being sold on Taobao, a Chinese online shopping platform, at very cheap prices.

During his business trip to China every other month, he watched a slingshot shooting competition and signed up for related courses. Since then, he has developed a strong interest in slingshots.

After the defendant returned to China, he purchased several slingshots and different types of marbles through Taobao.

At first, he set up two targets for practice at home, and later decided to practice at the top floor of the multi-storey car park, Block 933, Hougang Avenue 9, near his home.

The defendant usually chooses to practice in the morning or at night. Each time, he will place several plastic bottles on the ground as targets and shoot in the direction of the HDB Flat 923, Hougang Avenue 9.

However, due to his poor technic, on the night of December 25, 2019, when he shot from the top floor of the parking lot about the seventh floor, he shot the glass window of the living room of the HDB flat on the 12th floor opposite.

On the afternoon of January 12, 2020, the defendant missed again and shot the glass window of the bedroom on the seventh floor of the same HDB flat. Both windows were shot, leaving holes.

After the resident called the police, the police launched an investigation. They first found the marbles left on the top floor of the parking lot, and then tracked the whereabouts of the defendant through CCTV. Then he was arrested in his house, and seven slingshots and marbles of various sizes were recovered.

Defendant claimed he did not know it is illegal to practice slingshots

The defendant claimed that he did not know that it was illegal to practice slingshots, but the Deputy Public Prosecutor said that slingshots could not kill people.

The court revealed that the defendant shot two windows, causing $310 in repair costs, and the defendant has paid in full.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor pointed out that the authorities examined the defendant’s slingshot and found that the marbles could be fired at a speed of 58 meters per second, and when they hit the window, the speed was about 30 to 40 meters per second. The Deputy Public Prosecutor requested that the defendant be sentenced to prison, saying that the defendant’s behavior was very dangerous and likely to cause harm to people.

Defendant’s lawyer pleads for mercy

The defence lawyer pointed out that the authorities reported that the marbles would not penetrate the skin of a person, would not cause much damage, and, unlike a firearm, would never kill a person. The lawyer also said that the defendant did not know that practicing slingshots was illegal, and asked the judge to impose a fine and community service on him.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor rebutted that although the defendant’s skills were not very good, he had practiced for a long time and bought so many slingshots and marbles from the Internet.

The defendant pleaded guilty this morning (April 5), and the case was postponed for sentencing.

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