Briton caught on video not wearing mask in train deemed fit to plea, with no mental disorders

SINGAPORE – The British national seen in a video maskless while riding an MRT train in May has been deemed to have no diagnosable mental disorders and to be fit to plea following psychiatric observation at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), a district court heard on Wednesday (Aug 18).

Benjamin Glynn, who had claimed to be a “sovereign” in arguing the charges he is facing do not apply to him, has been in remand since his bail of $5,000 was revoked on July 19.

Glynn, 40, was to stand trial on Aug 5, but a submission by the prosecution and the Briton’s behaviour in court prompted District Judge Eddy Tham to order him to undergo psychiatric observation at IMH.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Kohhad earlier urged the court to have the Briton assessed to ensure he is of sound mind and capable of defending himself after Glynn’s family and friends wrote in highlighting the marked change in his behaviour after Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in Singapore.

Voicing his objection during the hearing on Aug 5, Glynn lashed out at the court and exclaimed that his mind was “crystal clear”.

He faces two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, as well as one count each of harassment and being a public nuisance.

He had allegedly failed to wear a mask while travelling on an MRT train from Raffles Place station to Holland Village station between 11.06pm and 11.31pm on May 7.

Glynn is then said to have caused annoyance to the public during the trip by declaring: “I will never wear a mask.”

On May 9, the Briton was at the ground level lift lobby of Allsworth Park condominium in Holland Road at around 12.30am when he allegedly used threatening words while addressing two police officers – Assistant Superintendent Alvin Quek Chin Han and Inspector Chee Xiu Quan.

Glynn is said to have hurled an obscene word at them when he said: “I’m going to… drop you.”

He first appeared in the State Courts on July 2 and was not wearing a mask when he arrived at the main entrance of the building. He put one on after a security officer told him to do so.

He was then handed three charges – one count each of harassment, being a public nuisance and an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Glynn was walking outside the State Courts building later that day when he was caught on video with his mask off.

On July 19, Glynn was handed his fourth charge, which is linked to this incident “within and outside” the State Courts building.

His bail was then revoked and he has been in remand since then.

For each charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, an offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

If convicted of harassment, an offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

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