Singapore

Woman who refused to wear mask at Sun Plaza granted absolute discharge

A woman who was caught on video insulting at least two men in Sun Plaza shopping mall after refusing to wear a mask was granted an absolute discharge by the court yesterday.

This means that Kasturi Govindasamy Retnamsamy, 40, will not be sentenced on the charges that she had pleaded guilty to earlier. These were one count each of harassment, using criminal force on a policewoman and an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh noted that Kasturi had already admitted to and been convicted of her offences.

But this was an exceptional case, where the offender has a psychiatric condition that contributed to the commission of the offences and she has already served more than two months in remand, the DPP said.

It would therefore not be in Kasturi's or the public interest to protract the matter, DPP Koh added.

Defence lawyer Diana Ngiam had told the court earlier that her client needed help.

Kasturi had also said in a previous hearing that she has "extreme rage" and "multiple personalities" issues.

Probation or a mandatory treatment order, whereby offenders undergo treatment for their mental condition in lieu of jail time, were not recommended for Kasturi.

UNSUITABLE

She was also found to be unsuitable for a day reporting order, whereby offenders have to report to a centre for monitoring and counselling as well as undergo rehabilitation.

The reasons for her unsuitability were not disclosed in court.

Kasturi was spotted not wearing a mask while in Sun Plaza at around noon on April 29. She was holding one in her hand instead. Refusing to put it on when told to, she insulted mall staff and hurled vulgarities at a security officer.

Kasturi was at the mall again at around 2pm on May 7.

As a condition of entry, she had to scan her NRIC to facilitate contact tracing.

Instead, she threw her NRIC onto the table and hurled vulgarities at the mall staff. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME