Man with schizophrenia didn't try to escape burning flat
He seemed oblivious that his flat was on fire and did not try to escape.
Luckily, a quick-thinking neighbour managed to talk Tan Yan Phor, now 62, into handing over the key to his front gate padlock and helped the elderly man flee the flames.
Tan was later charged in court with committing mischief by setting fire to the kitchen of his fifth-storey flat at Block 116, Jalan Bukit Merah at around 1.40pm on April 17.
But he was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal for this charge and no reason was given in court yesterday.
Instead, Tan, who has schizophrenia, was given a two-year mandatory treatment order (MTO) after he pleaded guilty to two unrelated harassment charges.
An MTO is for offenders who suffer from psychiatric conditions.
They have to go for psychiatric treatment in lieu of jail time.
Yesterday, District Judge Lim Keng Yeow said Tan also has to attend progress reviews in court.
The court heard that shortly after midnight on April 14, Tan went to a flat belonging to one of his neighbours, Mr Gan Yew Huat, 54, and started yelling at him and his son, Mr Gan Huat Jr Santiago.
When the younger Mr Gan tried to record a video of the incident with his mobile phone, Tan picked up an incense bin and flung it onto the floor. Tan also kicked a plastic flower pot before returning home next door.
About 10 hours later, another neighbour, Ms Rosnah Mohd Syed, 51, was hanging her laundry outside her flat when she spotted Tan standing nearby.
Tan went towards to the Gans' unit and kicked the incense bin and flower pot onto the floor for the second time - causing a mess. The older Mr Gan returned and informed the police at around 11.15am.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Zulhafni Zulkeflee said Tan committed the offence as he did not like his neighbour. For each count of harassment, he could have been jailed up to six months and fined up to $5,000.