SINGAPORE – A lawyer was fined $2,500 on Friday (July 19) for using a key to scratch a parked car belonging to a fellow motorist at his Amber Road condominium.

Director of Averex Law Corporation Ian Chang Yen Ping, 49, pleaded guilty in court to one count of mischief.

The court heard that he was driving his car into the condominium basement on July 31 last year when he noticed that Mr Ye Yuzhi’s vehicle was not properly parked in its lot.

Defence lawyer Lee Teck Leng said that Chang felt Mr Ye, 29, was “very inconsiderate” and scratched the door on the driver’s side of the man’s car, causing $3,350 in damage.

Chang was nabbed after Mr Ye viewed footage from his car’s in-vehicle camera, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Teh.

It showed Chang walking in front of the vehicle with three distinct scratching sounds heard soon after. The lawyer then left the scene.

Mr Ye alerted the police on Aug 1 last year and Chang later admitted to officers that he had scratched the car with a key.

Pleading for a maximum fine of $2,000, Mr Lee told District Judge Ong Hian Sun on Friday that his client’s mental state at the time had been affected by unfortunate events in his life – including his mother-in-law’s terminal thyroid cancer.

A report from the Institute of Mental Health dated April 22 this year stated that Chang was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Mr Lee told Judge Ong that his client had made full compensation.

Mr Lee also said that his client had acted on impulse and his behaviour showed a lack of self-control.

“His depressive state with anxious distress would have contributed to his impassivity, lack of self control and failure to appreciate the gravity of his action,” Mr Lee added.

The court heard that Chang’s mother-in-law died on Feb 21.

In a statement on Friday, the Law Society said that it is not privy to information of the particulars of the charges against Chang.

Its spokesman added: “Once the court proceeding is concluded, the Law Society will review the facts of the matter to determine if disciplinary action is necessary.”

For committing mischief, Chang could have been jailed for up to a year and fined.