Singapore—In court on Monday (Feb 15), British national Nigel Skea entered a guilty plea to flouting quarantine rules in order to meet up with Ms Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, his then-fiancee, in September of last year.
Mr Skea, 52, married Ms Eyamalai, 39, in November.
He pleaded guilty to one offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and another under the Infectious Diseases Act, while his wife admitted to one offence under the Infectious Diseases Act.
On Jan 15, the couple was charged in court, the court heard that Mr Skea was caught leaving his Marina Bay Sands hotel room in order to join her in a separate room she had booked.
Under Singapore’s laws, Mr Skea faces six charges, while Ms Eyamalai faced one charge for abetting his breach of the SHN requirement.
The British national flew to Singapore and needed to serve his SHN from Sept 20 to Oct 4, 2020, in a room on the fourteenth floor of the hotel.
Ms Eyamalai, who did not need to quarantine, booked a room at the hotel at the same time, but on the 27th floor.
The couple met in the early morning hours of Sept 21 on the 27th floor. Ms Eyamalai let her fiancé onto her floor through an exit emergency door, and Mr Skea stayed with her in her room until shortly before noon on that day.
All in all, they spent nine hours together.
The hotel staff learned about Mr Skea’s breach of quarantine rules because he had to call the hotel’s reception counter for help after losing access to his room after he visited his fiancée.
The couple could have received a 6-month jail term for flouting quarantine rules, but Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee is only asking for a 4-week jail term and a fine of S$1,000.
The lawyer for the couple, Dhillon Surinder Singh, however, only asked for a one-week jail term or a fine as a “slap on the wrist”.
The couple is expected to be sentenced next week.
“This is a classic tale of two lovers wanting to be together and trying to be as close as possible to each other, but breaching the law,” Dhillon said.
The lawyer added that the couple had had to endure a “long separation” and that the mistakes they made were because they were in an “emotionally vulnerable state,” according to the straitstimes.com.
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