Odd-job worker behind Jurong West market fire gets jail and cane
An odd-job worker who set fire to two styrofoam boxes at a market in Jurong West caused more than $6 million in damage and losses when the flames engulfed the premises and affected two neighbouring coffee shops.
The blaze started by Lim Ying Siang at the market at Block 493, Jurong West Street 41, at about 2.40am on Oct 11, 2016, affected 56 stall owners, most of whom did not have fire insurance.
The stall owners suffered about $740,000 in property losses and an additional $980,000 in lost income as many could not open for business for at least a few months, a district court heard yesterday.
Besides these costs, Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling said that rebuilding and renovation works for the market and the two coffee shops in Blocks 493 and 494 came up to about $5 million.
Yesterday, Lim, 42, was jailed for 111/2 years and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to one count each of committing mischief by fire and drug consumption.
The court heard that traces of methamphetamine were later detected in Lim's urine samples and he admitted that he had consumed the drug before his arrest.
Lim's lawyer Ahmad Firdaus Daud, assigned under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, pleaded for a 10-year jail sentence and three strokes of the cane.
"Mr Lim's IQ is in the borderline range. He has a full-scale intelligence quotient of 74... Mr Lim is genuinely remorseful for his actions," he said.