SINGAPORE — A patron at fast-food chain KFC who spat and cursed at a service manager last year because she was upset after waiting six minutes for her order was on Monday (24 May) sentenced to nine months' probation.
As part of her sentence, Lin Si Ting, 43, who has schizophrenia, will have to attend follow-up sessions with a psychiatrist and take prescribed medication. Her mental illness was found to have contributed to her offences.
Her mother was bonded in the sum of $5,000 to ensure her good behaviour during the probation period.
Lin had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges: using criminal force by spitting and using abusive words to cause alarm to a 40-year-old service manager at the KFC outlet at Nex shopping mall in Serangoon.
A video of the incident which was filmed and uploaded online by an eyewitness was widely shared and sparked outrage.
About the case
Lin went to the KFC outlet at Nex at about 12.35pm on 22 April last year – during the circuit breaker period – and placed an order at the counter.
About six minutes later, she went to the counter and shouted at KFC staff, including the manager, asking why her order was taking so long. The victim apologised and explained that there were other orders ahead of Lin's.
However, Lin demanded that she be given her order immediately. The manager declined, saying it would not be fair to other patrons, and asked Lin to wait for another five minutes.
Upset, Lin then demanded a refund and the manager agreed. When the latter asked for her receipt, Lin threw it at the victim.
As the manager was processing the refund, Lin pulled down her mask and hurled vulgarities at her. Lin then pointed at the victim and said, “Wait for you to die, wait for your whole family to die!”. She then leaned forward and spat at the manager twice, with spittle landing on the victim’s arm.
The perpetrator then then took her cash and stalked off. However, she returned a few minutes later, claiming that she had not been refunded the full amount.
The manager checked the order records and confirmed that the refunded amount was correct, but Lin started shouting that the victim had shortchanged her.
The manager then asked her colleagues to call the police but Lin left before officers arrived.
A charge under the COVID-19 regulations was taken into consideration for sentencing.
For using criminal force, Lin could have been jailed for up to three months and also fined up to $1,500.
The punishment for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress to another person is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to six months' jail.
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