Lawyer M Ravi charged for criminal trespassing, but statistics reveal that it is not so common afterall

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By Sze Hian Leong

Lawyer M Ravi was arrested and charged for trespassing into his own office after a fallout with his ex-boss Mr Eugene Thuraisingam.

I refer to the article “M. Ravi and another man charged with criminal trespass into law firm at People’s Park Centre” (Straits Times, Jul 1).

It states that “Lawyer M. Ravi and another man were charged in court on Friday (June 30) with criminal trespass into a law firm at People’s Park Centre where Ravi used to work.

The 48-year-old, who has been barred from applying for a practising certificate for two years from last October, and Lai Yew Thiam, 56, are accused of entering law firm Eugene Thuraisingam’s branch office on the fifth floor of People’s Park Centre in Chinatown at 2.16pm on Tuesday with intent to annoy a security consultant.

He was arrested by the police on Thursday for the alleged offence.

On Friday, the prosecution applied for Ravi to be remanded for psychiatric evaluation but District Judge Adam Nakhoda turned it down.

The judge said he did not believe that there was evidence to show that Ravi was unable to understand the proceedings and the charge against him.

Earlier, Ravi said that he was claiming trial to the charge by reason that he was a lawful co-tenant at the People’s Park Centre office, and paying rent.

He said, among other things, that when the police officer questioned him, he said he did not want to answer because he wanted “the right of silence as a constitutional expert”.

He also told the court that his medicine for his mental condition had been running low. He claimed that he was not allowed to take his medicine for the last two days when he was in prison.

Responding to Ravi’s claim that he was a co-tenant, Mr Eugene Thuraisingam said the law firm is the sole tenant of the premises.

In his e-mail, Mr Thuraisingam said the firm took Ravi in when he was stopped from practice as a lawyer and had no job as “we wanted to help him.” A quick check on M Ravi’s credentials has revealed that he was already a well known lawyer with many international accolades before meeting Mr Thuraisingam.

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According to the Singapore Police Force’s web site – there were 482 media releases on arrests in 2016 – of which only one was for arrests for criminal trepass.

It was for – “The Police have arrested a 40-year-old man for his suspected involvement in several cases of Criminal Trespass and Theft from Vehicle”.

So far this year – M Ravi and Lai Yew Thiam’s arrest for criminal trepass is the second out of the 285 media releases for arrests.

The other case was – “Between January and May 2017, the Police received several reports of a man who allegedly peeped at victims in female toilets of a building along Sembawang Drive”.

It would appear that arrests for criminal trepass may be quite rare.