Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

More jail time for Swiss man in Singapore graffiti case

A Singapore court on Wednesday extended a jail term for a Swiss man by two months to seven and maintained an earlier ruling that he receives three strokes of the cane for trespassing and spray-painting graffiti on a train.

The harsher sentence, which reinforced the city-state's low tolerance for even minor crimes, would deter future copycat offenders, Singapore Appeals Court's Judge V.K. Rajah said in the ruling.

"It is conduct which is entirely unacceptable in Singapore, regardless of the artistic merit (or lack thereof) of the graffiti," the judge said in a written statement.

Story continues below advertisement

In June, Oliver Fricker, 32, was sentenced to three strokes of a rattan cane and five months in prison after he pleaded guilty to breaking into a train depot in May and spray-painting the graffiti across two carriages.

Both prosecutors and Mr. Fricker appealed the ruling.

The Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday the imprisonment for the fence-cutting part should be increased.

Mr. Fricker was accompanied at the time by with a man identified as Lloyd Dane Alexander, a Briton, who was in Singapore for just three days, according to the prosecution.

Singapore has sought the extradition of Mr. Alexander, who it said was last believed to be in Hong Kong.

Singapore outlaws the sale of chewing gum and has strict fines for littering and a mandatory death sentence for drug peddling. The crime rate on the sparklingly clean island nation of 5 million people is among the lowest in the world.

Singapore's vandalism laws became global news in 1994 when American teenager Michael Fay was caned for damaging cars and public property, despite appeals for clemency from the United States government, including then President Bill Clinton.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to