Man gets 4 weeks’ jail for assaulting cabin crew member on SIA flight, bomb threat charge withdrawn, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
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Man gets 4 weeks’ jail for assaulting cabin crew member on SIA flight, bomb threat charge withdrawn

An American man who had falsely claimed there was a bomb on board a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on Friday after he pleaded guilty to an assault charge for slapping a man.

La Andy Hien Duc, 37, was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal for harassment after he had been given a stern warning over the bomb threat he made on board SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore in September.

This means Hien Duc, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, cannot be charged again with the same offence.

As the sentence will be backdated, Hien Duc, who has spent more than a month in remand, is expected to be deported on Saturday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min had said earlier that according to a psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health, Hien Duc posed a danger to the public.

She added: “The stressors of being in a foreign country, including the fact that he has no fixed place to stay and no one to monitor his compliance with his medications, are risk factors for relapse.”

Hien Duc was one of 208 passengers on board SQ33 which left San Francisco at 10.26pm on Sept 26 (Sept 27, 1.26pm Singapore time).

The flight was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 5am on Sept 28.

Preliminary investigations revealed that he claimed there was a bomb in a bag nearly six hours before the flight’s scheduled arrival in Singapore.

He then grabbed another passenger’s luggage from the cabin’s overhead compartment.

 Hien Duc assaulted a male cabin crew member when the latter tried to restrain him.

Checks by the cabin crew did not reveal any suspicious items in the passenger’s luggage.

Police were alerted to the bomb threat and the plane was escorted to Changi Airport by Republic of Singapore Air Force fighter jets.

The Airport Police Division and Special Operations Command’s K-9 Unit, as well as the Singapore Armed Forces’ Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group, were mobilised to investigate the matter.

The threat turned out to be false.

For voluntarily causing hurt, an offender can be jailed up to three years and fined up to $5,000.

For using threatening words likely to cause alarm, an offender can be fined up to $5,000.

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