3 months' jail for man who set fire to Hotel 81 towels after being rejected when trying to book room for 3

In his defence, the man said he was drunk and could not remember what happened.

Ashley Tan | April 21, 2021, 05:24 PM

A Singaporean man was sentenced to jail on Apr. 21 for committing mischief by fire, after he was told a hotel room could only hold a maximum of two people.

Set fire to towels

The incident occurred on Sep. 12, 2017.

According to court documents seen by Mothership, 34-year-old Lau Sheng Shiun had met up with his Navy subordinate, 29-year-old Chua Wen Hao at a KTV at Foch Rd.

The pair had a few drinks and met a Vietnamese girl there. The trio then headed to Hotel 81 Violet at 97 Lavender St.

Chua and the girl checked in first and made their way to their room. Lau entered the hotel later and entered the same room.

A Hotel 81 staff noticed Lau entering the room from CCTV footage.

As the hotel had a policy of having not more than two people per room, the staff went up to the room and spoke to both Chua and Lau, the latter of whom asked her if it was possible to book a room for three people.

Lau's request was rejected and he later exited the hotel through the back door. He went to the back of the hotel to smoke, where several crates of towels were being stored.

He then set fire to some of the towels there with his lit cigarette.

A passer-by later saw the towels on fire and informed hotel staff, who went to extinguish it.

The damage to the towels cost S$60.

Claimed he was too drunk to remember anything

In court, Lau's defence was that he was drunk and could not remember the events of the night.

He added that he "was probably frustrated that there wasn't a room for three persons".

Lau was sentenced to three months' jail, CNA reported.

For committing mischief by fire, he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.

CNA reported that Chua was previously fined S$2,500 for giving false information to the police, as he had lied that he did not know Lau and denied him entry into the room.

Top photo from Zheng Whye Hui / Google Maps