In Singapore, British man seen without mask in MRT gets new charge of similar offence outside court; bail revoked

Benjamin Glynn arriving at the State Courts July 2, 2021. — TODAY pic
Benjamin Glynn arriving at the State Courts July 2, 2021. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, July 21 — A man who appeared in a viral video not wearing a mask on an MRT train was hauled back to court on Monday (July 19) and handed a fresh charge of going maskless within and outside the State Courts.

Benjamin Glynn’s bail of S$5,000 (RM15,520) was also revoked. This means that the Briton, who turned 40 about two weeks ago, has been in remand since Monday.

He was first charged on July 2 with one count each of failing to wear a mask while travelling on an MRT train on May 7, making a nuisance of himself in public that same day, and using threatening language against police officers two days later.

Then, he turned up at court without wearing a mask. A judge had to warn him to wear it properly during the hearing, but he was photographed by the press immediately taking it off after he stepped out of the State Courts building.

At the time, he told District Judge Lorraine Ho that he did not understand the options when asked if he intended to claim trial or plead guilty.

He will return to court for a pre-trial conference on July 23.

His previous charges stated that past 11pm on May 7, he was travelling from Raffles Place MRT Station to Holland Village MRT Station when he allegedly declared “I will never wear a mask” on the train, “knowing that the said act will probably cause annoyance to the public”, court documents stated.

Then at about 12.30am on May 9, he was at the ground floor lift lobby of the Allsworth Park condominium along Holland Road when he allegedly used threatening words towards two police officers. 

He allegedly told the officers “I’m gonna f***ing drop you” while adopting a boxing stance.

Glynn had appeared in a viral video without wearing a mask while on the MRT network’s East-West Line earlier in May. In the video that lasted almost two minutes, the man can be heard telling another train commuter about why he did not want to wear a mask.

The Daily Mail had interviewed Glynn, who was identified as a father of two children aged five and two.

The British news site quoted him as saying: “This whole situation is ridiculous. I want to leave the country anyway — just let me go! I think it’s insane that I am facing a trial at all, just for not wearing a mask... especially when I don’t even believe masks stop the spread of the virus in the first place... From a scientific basis, I think it’s nonsense.”

If convicted of contravening Covid-19 laws by not wearing a mask in public, he could be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both.

If found guilty of the offence of being a public nuisance, he could be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$2,000, or both.

Those convicted of using threatening words towards a public servant in relation to the execution of their duty can be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed up to a year, or both. — TODAY

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