SINGAPORE: A British national accused of not wearing a mask and being a public nuisance has been sent to a mental hospital by a Singapore court, after dismissing the charges against him as absurd and refusing to enter a plea.
Benjamin Glynn was allegedly seen not wearing a mask while riding on a train in May. He then used threatening language towards the police who tracked him down for his crime, according to Singapore authorities.
Singapore has some of the strictest laws when it comes to Covid rule breaches. Violators can face exorbitant fines, as well as up to six months behind bars.
In his court appearance on Thursday, the British expat denounced the proceedings against him as “preposterous” and “disgusting,” and said he would not confess to or deny the charges, describing them as “nonsense.”
Glynn also claimed that he had been subjected to false imprisonment and torture, and that his passport had been confiscated.
The trial was further complicated by the fact that Glynn’s defense attorney, Abdul Rashid, was not a certified solicitor. He admitted as much, explaining that he was an “ambassador at large and advocate of Kingdom Filipina Hacienda,” and that he had appeared before the court to defend his “sovereign compatriot.”
The prosecution pointed to a letter, purportedly from the accused’s family and friends, which noted Glynn’s “marked change of behavior” after coronavirus restrictions were put in place. It was recommended that the British national be assessed to ensure that he is capable of defending himself – a suggestion that the court agreed with.
Judge Eddy Tham ordered that Glynn be brought to Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric evaluation.