American given 4-week jail term for slapping crew during plane bomb hoax

By Reuters   November 4, 2022 | 04:06 pm PT
American given 4-week jail term for slapping crew during plane bomb hoax
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300 plane takes off behind a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner at Changi Airport in Singapore March 28, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Edgar Su
An American whose bomb hoax on a commercial flight prompted Singapore to scramble fighter jets was sentenced to four weeks in prison on Friday, after a court found him guilty of causing hurt by slapping a cabin crew member.

Authorities had dropped charges against La Andy Hien Duc over his bogus bomb warning made during the Singapore Airlines flight from San Francisco on Sept. 28, after considering an expert assessment of his mental health.

Duc, 37, who appeared in court via video link, pleaded guilty to slapping a member of the cabin crew during efforts to restrain him.

He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to his lawyer Johannes Hadi.

The court heard how Duc had recalled hearing a voice in his head telling him there was a bomb on the plane and to shout that out to alert others.

The plane had to be escorted to Singapore by fighter jets.

"His delusionary beliefs, auditory hallucinations, as well as psychotic thought disorder have greatly contributed to his offending behaviour," the judge said during the sentence hearing.

The jail term was backdated to his arrest and Duc would be released on Friday and return to the United States.

($1 = 1.4131 Singapore dollars)

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