9 months jail for Hjh Maimunah Catering shareholder who threw Molotov cocktail at ex-wife's house, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

9 months jail for Hjh Maimunah Catering shareholder who threw Molotov cocktail at ex-wife's house

A shareholder of food and beverage firm Hjh Maimunah Catering was so unhappy with his former wife that he drove to her house during the circuit-breaker period and flung a Molotov cocktail at it, causing damage to the landed properly.

Singapore imposed the circuit breaker between April 7 and June 1, 2020 to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Earlier media reports had identified the offender Ismail Didih Ibrahim as one of the owners of the popular Hjh Maimunah restaurant in Jalan Pisang near Arab Street.

But court documents state that at the time of the offences, he was a manager for his parents' eatery.

Ismail, 37, was on Thursday (Aug 18) sentenced to nine months' jail after he pleaded guilty to one count each of committing an act of mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage, as well as an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Ismail and the woman had tied the knot in 2017 but got divorced two years later.

Bent on revenge, he drove to her Telok Kurau house on May 12, 2020, armed with items including a half-filled bottle of thinner and a spray can of black paint.

He also took along a raincoat to disguise himself that evening.

In earlier proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En told the court: "(Ismail) was seen on CCTV (closed circuit television) footage going to the boot of his car and preparing a Molotov cocktail by pouring repeatedly the paint thinner into (an) empty bottle and stuffing rags on the top.

"At times, he would glance around the mostly deserted street to see if anyone was watching him. After about five minutes of preparation, the accused then walked over to the victim's house... wearing the raincoat."

After spraying "O$P$" (owe money, pay money) on the property even though the woman's family had not borrowed cash from a loan shark, Ismail flung the lit Molotov cocktail at the house, causing a fire when the bottle shattered. He then left the scene.

The woman, then 32, and her family members were not aware of the incident at first as they were on an upper floor.

One of their neighbours, however, spotted the blaze and put out the fire with her own family members. They then alerted the victim's family and the police were subsequently called.

DPP Chong said that the fire caused about $6,000 in damage to items including some walls and pillars.

Ismail has since made voluntary restitution of $5,000 to his former wife and donated $3,000 to three charities of her choice.

Police officers initially thought the case was linked to illegal moneylending activities but investigations later revealed that Ismail had spray painted the message out of malice.

Nobody was physically injured in the Molotov cocktail attack but Ismail's former wife was left so traumatised that she had to attend counselling sessions.

Her family also spent about $600 to install CCTV cameras around their house as they did not feel safe following the incident.

DPP Chong said that three psychiatrists had observed Ismail and the trio agreed that he had a relapse of his major depressive disorder.

The prosecutor added: "However, upon careful review of their reports, the diagnoses of all three psychiatrists are more or less (in agreement), in that although the initial idea to attack the victim's house with a Molotov cocktail could have been impulsive, the actual execution of the attack was intentional and showed significant premeditation, and was unclouded by his depression."

Ismail's bail was set at $20,000 on Thursday and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Sept 14 to begin serving his sentence.