updated 1/16/2007 8:44:30 AM ET 2007-01-16T13:44:30

A Singaporean teenager who illegally tapped into a neighbor's wireless Internet network — an offense the city-state deems punishable by jail — was placed on 18 months' probation by a district court Tuesday.

The court also ordered Garyl Tan Jia Luo, 17, to carry out 80 hours of community service after he admitted linking his computer to his neighbor's wireless router to access the Internet without permission.

Tan could have been jailed up to three years and fined US$6,500.

Senior District Judge Bala Reddy cited a probation report as saying Tan had been addicted to Internet gaming at the time of the offense, adding the teenager had "few friends, if not none."

Reddy said Tan should seek "disciplined and structured psychiatric and psychological intervention" to cure his addiction.

Tan is the first Singaporean to have been prosecuted and convicted for tapping illegally into a wireless Internet network, an offense under the Computer Misuse Act, according to Tan's lawyer, Sam Koh.

A second Singaporean is currently facing 60 charges of illegally accessing wireless Internet networks.

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