Singapore: Briton jailed for failing to wear mask in public to be deported

The Straits Times reports

Briton Benjamin Glynn is preparing to get deported, after he was released from prison on Wednesday.

Briton Benjamin Glynn is preparing to get deported, after he was released from prison on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old former recruitment consultant was sentenced to six weeks’ jail after he was convicted on the same day.

District Judge Eddy Tham found him guilty of two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, as well as one count each of harassment and being a public nuisance.

The sentence was backdated to July 19, from when he was first remanded.

From July 19 to Aug 4, Glynn was remanded in prison. But the court later ordered him to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health from Aug 5 to Wednesday for a psychiatric evaluation.

As his period of remand amounted to four weeks, he was allowed to be released from prison on remission almost immediately after he was sentenced.

Convicts can be released on remission for good behaviour after serving two-thirds of their jail term if their total sentence is more than 14 days.

But foreigners who are convicted usually have their work passes revoked and are deported after serving their sentence. Foreigners also cannot remain in Singapore without a valid pass.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower said Glynn’s work pass had already been cancelled earlier by his former employer, and that he is now permanently banned from working in Singapore.

A spokesman for the Singapore Prison Service confirmed that Glynn was handed over on Wednesday to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), which will be making arrangements for his deportation.

The Straits Times has contacted the ICA for comment.

Glynn made headlines after a video of him refusing to wear a mask on a train on May 7 emerged online.

In the video, he can be heard saying he will never wear a mask.

A police report was later made against him.

Just past midnight on May 9, the police were trying to arrest him at the ground-floor lift lobby of his condominium in Holland Road when he threatened to “drop” them.

During the trial on Wednesday, the court heard that Glynn adopted a boxing stance with both his fists clenched when he made the verbal threat.

He tried to run away but was arrested after he stumbled.

Glynn was first charged on July 2 and offered bail.

But on the same day, he was seen not wearing a mask at the State Courts building.

He was hauled back to court on July 19 and slapped with a charge for that incident. His bail was also revoked, leading to him being remanded.

In the subsequent court hearings leading up to Wednesday, Glynn claimed to be a “sovereign”, saying he had no contract with the Singapore Government and the authorities.

On Wednesday, Judge Tham said Glynn had shown a “blatant disregard for the law” and was “completely misguided”.