British man fined for gathering with 11 others on Lazarus Island
A British national was yesterday fined $3,000 for gathering with 11 others on Lazarus Island.
Despite being aware of the rule that no more than five people could meet socially, Paul Jonathon Gold still broke the law, the prosecution said.
Gold, 32, is the first of the group to plead guilty.
On Aug 8 at 11am, the group took a ferry to St John's Island, then stayed on the beach at nearby Lazarus Island before leaving at about 6pm.
One of them posted photos of the trip on Instagram, drawing public attention, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh.
While there was insufficient evidence to show when exactly the group size exceeded five people and for how long, DPP Koh said the photos showed it was a planned outing where the 12 would interact with each other.
They also either had no masks on or had them pulled down.
Gold's lawyer Anil Singh asked for a fine of between $2,000 and $2,500 and said his client lost his job at property consultancy firm JLL due to the case.
"His stay in Singapore is about to come to an end and it is unlikely that he will be allowed to re-enter Singapore," he said.
The rule of five for social gatherings kicked in on June 19.
For flouting Covid-19 regulations, Gold could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.
In a separate case, Tuan Siti Aishah Tuan Ab Rahman, 20, was fined $4,000 after admitting to two counts of meeting others during the circuit breaker period. Three similar charges were taken into consideration.
On May 8, she met five friends at a void deck in Bedok North Avenue 2 at 10pm, chatting and singing into the early hours of the next morning until they were caught at 4.50am.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Emily Koh said a resident called the police about the noise.
Then on May 20, Siti was grocery shopping with her mother when she saw three friends near a McDonald's in Bedok North Street 3. She stayed to chat for about 15 minutes and again got caught by the police.
Yesterday, Siti asked to pay her fine in instalments, but District Judge Ong Luan Tze said history showed she was not good at complying with orders as she had not paid composition fines for her breaches.
The judge allowed her to make payment today. She will be jailed for eight days if she does not do so. - KOK YUFENG