Singapore

Man broke into ex-girlfriend's home and threatened to blow it up

After breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home, a man threatened to blow up her house with a gas cylinder.

He also tied up the woman, her two daughters and her maid.

Mohamad Ridwan Ali, 38, was sentenced to jail yesterday for five years and nine months, and six strokes of the cane.

He pleaded guilty to one charge each relating to housebreaking and wrongful confinement, and two charges of criminal intimidation.

He also admitted to voluntarily causing hurt to the woman and the maid. Four other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

His victims cannot be named due to a gag order to protect their identities.

The woman was not home when Ridwan broke in at about 2.30am on March 16 last year.

After reaching through a gap in the unit's front gate to take a key hanging on the wall nearby, he unlocked the gate and went to the woman's bedroom, where her daughters were sleeping.

Ridwan had known where the key was kept through his previous relationship with the woman.

When the maid entered the bedroom, Ridwan pushed her against a wardrobe, injuring her.

He tied up the children and the maid and moved them to the maid's bedroom. He then took a gas cylinder from the kitchen and placed it in the room.

KNIFEPOINT

When the woman returned home later, Ridwan held a knife to her neck, took her to the bedroom and threatened to blow up the house if she "did anything stupid".

Moving her to her own bedroom, where he had placed another gas cylinder, he tied her up.

While checking through her mobile phone, he confronted her about a debt she allegedly owed him and about a male friend she had been messaging.

He threatened to blow up the house while switching on the gas cylinder and exposing the flame of the lighter he was holding.

"The victim repeatedly tried to pacify the accused by reassuring him that she would not report the incident to the authorities, and that she would not contact the male friend," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Wei Liang.

She also had sex with him as she remained fearful of his threats and wanted to distract him, the DPP added.

The woman finally persuaded Ridwan to untie her children and the maid some time after 7.30am.

He continued to stay with the woman until the next day, when she told him she needed to retrieve the birth certificate of her eldest daughter from her office.

Ridwan drove her there, but waited outside in his lorry.

While in her office, she told her maid via a phone call to contact her ex-husband and get his help with lodging a police report. Ridwan was arrested later that day.

COURT & CRIME