Asia-Pacific

Swiss graffiti man faces Singapore caning

Oliver Fricker on 25 June, 2010
Image caption Fricker's lawyer said he would appeal against the sentence

A Swiss man has been sentenced to five months in jail and three strokes of a cane for spray-painting graffiti on a train in Singapore.

Oliver Fricker, 32, a software consultant, admitted breaking into a depot and vandalising the train.

The judge called it a serious breach of security.

Caning in Singapore involves being struck with a wooden stick on the back of the thigh, which can leave permanent scars.

Amnesty International called the sentence barbaric.

Accomplice

Judge See Kee Oon said Fricker's actions were "calculated criminal conduct".

"He was fully conscious of the criminal nature of the act and must be prepared to face the consequences," the judge said.

Singapore says it is still hunting for a second man, UK national Lloyd Dane Alexander, who it believes took part in the spray-painting.

Fricker was arrested on 25 May, eight days after the incident and two days before he was to leave for a new job in Switzerland.

Prosecutors said the pair spray-painted the words "McKoy" and "Banos" on two carriages - a signature that has featured in graffiti works in other countries.

It is not clear if the two men are the duo behind the other works, or imitators.

Vandalism in Singapore carries a fine of up to S$2,000 ($1,437) or up to three years in jail, in addition to three to eight strokes of a cane.

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