In a recent court decision on Monday (August 7), a man was fined S$4,000 for unlawfully confining nine former colleagues within an office space for approximately an hour. The incident involved the individual padlocking the office’s main entrance, preventing anyone from leaving.
According to reports, Vict Lim Siong Hock, aged 52, pleaded guilty to a charge of wrongful confinement, with an additional charge of sending an abusive message to an ex-colleague considered during the proceedings.
The court heard that Lim had taken on the role of a driver and logistics assistant at an electronics company located at Pantech Business Hub in late May 2022. He commenced his employment on July 1, 2022. Lim’s work hours typically ranged from 8 am to 4:30 pm or 5 pm, which included a one-hour lunch break.
However, his employment was terminated on August 30, 2022, before he could complete his probationary period.
Following his dismissal, Lim procured a padlock from a local hardware shop, as revealed during the court proceedings. His intention was to secure the only entrance to his former workplace, motivated by resentment stemming from his termination. On September 1, 2022, around 2:20 pm, Lim visited the office premises and secured the entrance door with the padlock, the report added.
According to Lim, he assumed that his former colleagues were on their lunch breaks and had vacated the premises, it was later established that lunch breaks were staggered. Consequently, an employee’s presence was maintained in the office at all times.
Approximately ten minutes after Lim padlocked the door, an employee tried to exit the office for a restroom break but found the door locked from the outside.
The discovery was shared with fellow colleagues, resulting in a total of nine individuals being confined within the office. The employees sought assistance from another colleague stationed elsewhere within the building, who confirmed the padlock’s presence on the entrance door.
In a swift response, the company’s owner engaged a locksmith for approximately S$80 to remove the padlock later that same day. Subsequently, the owner filed a police report against Lim.
The incident was captured on closed-circuit television footage, corroborating the sequence of events. For the charge of wrongful confinement, Lim faced the possibility of a three-year jail term, a fine, or both.
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