Antonie Mathieu Rongeot, the French vandal blamed the BP oil spill and the Icelandic volcanic ash

The lamest excuse of the day!

A bit annoyed, though, to read about the lack of explanation on why the vandal, Antonie Mathieu Rongeot was acquitted from one charge of behaving in a disorderly manner in public.

Why???

Sure the fine may prove to be sufficient: S$5,000 for committing mischief as well as the repair cost of the fire alarm manual call point, which was S$1,860.

But I believe for any oil rig supervisors, that amount is nothing. There should be harsher punishments meted out to discourage such a barbaric behaviour. C'mon, Changi Airport has a reputation to protect, you see? It should not be treated in such disrespect manner.

A Frenchman who vandalised airport equipment at Changi Airport last Friday blamed the BP oil spill and the Icelandic volcanic ash for his outburst.

Oil rig supervisor, Antonie Mathieu Rongeot, 38, was on his way home to Paris from Indonesia on June 11. While waiting for his connecting flight to Paris in the Terminal 1 transit area, he tried to open a door but failed to do so as it was locked.

He then punched the fire alarm manual call point on the door, damaging it. An aviation security officer called the airport police and he was arrested. He was charged in court the next day.

He pleaded guilty on Thursday and was fined S$5,000 for committing mischief. Rongeot was also ordered to pay Changi Airport Group the repair cost of the fire alarm manual call point, which was S$1,860.

He faced four charges, including one of behaving in a disorderly manner in public, which the prosecution acquitted him of. It was not explained why he was acquitted.

Rongeot's lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong, told the court the Frenchman was remorseful for his action and was prepared to make full restitution. He said that Rongeot was stressed from work and was returning home after a four-week work stint at an oil rig in Indonesia.

As an oil rig supervisor and coupled with the pressure that the industry faced from the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, Rongeot was "stressed and lost his control".

Rongeot was also infected with scabies at that time and his condition affected his ability to rest, said his lawyer.

He added that Rongeot lost his cool when an Air France stewardess told him that he might not be able to make his connecting flight.

That reminded him of the experience of being trapped in Changi Airport when flights were stopped because of the ash from the Icelandic volcano eruption in April.

Rongeot could have be jailed up to two years, or fined, or both.

From Channel NewsAsia, "French vandal pleads guilty".

A FRENCH oil rig supervisor who damaged a fire alarm call point at Changi Airport was fined $5,000 yesterday for mischief.

Antoine Mathieu Rongeot, 38, was originally charged last Saturday with the more serious offence of vandalism, which carries a punishment of at least three strokes of the cane.

He had been on remand till Tuesday, when he was bailed out.

In court yesterday, he pleaded guilty to using his hand to punch the fire alarm manual call point in the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 1 last Friday.

District Judge John Ng also ordered him to compensate Changi Airport for the damaged property with a sum of $1,860 by next Wednesday.

His lawyer Wendell Wong had told the court that Rongeot had raised sufficient funds and was ready to make restitution.

From Straits Times, "Frenchmen fined for mischief".

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