Singapore to Cane Guys Who Spray-Painted Train

One of 2 Germans convicted: 'This is the darkest episode of my entire life'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2015 8:28 AM CST
Singapore to Cane Guys Who Spray-Painted Train
In this Nov. 22, 2014, photo, Andreas Von Knorre, one of the two suspects who was arrested for vandalizing a public train, arrives at court in Singapore.   (AP Photo/TODAY, Ooi Boon Keong)

With a dozen cans of spray paint at his side as evidence, a Singapore judge sentenced two German men today to nine months in jail and three lashes with a cane for vandalizing a train, the Local reports. Andreas Von Knorre, 22, and Elton Hinz, 21, were charged with entering a Singapore train depot in November with spray paint and going to town on a parked train car, the AP notes. They left Singapore, but authorities scooped them up in Malaysia, which extradited them, according to media reports cited by the AP. Singapore is well known for its rigid vandalism laws, notes the BBC, and there have been a couple of high-profile cases of foreigners being caned. Perhaps the most famous: American teenager Michael Fay, who received four lashes for vandalism in 1994, per the New York Times at the time.

Fay's caning—which he described to the Times as being between "a few drops [of blood and] blood … gushing out. … It's like a bloody nose"—invited condemnation for the Singapore practice from human rights groups worldwide. The German men's lawyer sought a five-month sentence, per the Local. "I believe they deeply regret their crime," he said, mentioning that family had sent money to the transit company to pay for damages (the check was reportedly returned). "This is the darkest episode of my entire life. I want to apologize to the state of Singapore for the stupid act. … I've learned my lesson and will never do it again," Von Knorre told the court, per Reuters; Hinz offered a similar-sounding apology. But the judge accepted the prosecution's recommended sentence, telling the court the vandalism was "well planned and disrupted public transport," as per Bloomberg. (More Singapore stories.)

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