SINGAPORE — A 19-year-old teen who met three others during Phase 1 of Singapore's COVID-19 reopening to play the online game Mobile Legends at a multi-storey carpark was fined $2,000 on Wednesday (30 May).
Dave Darren Savuryrajoo had also visited another friend to celebrate her birthday and have dinner with her family earlier the same day. During the time, it was against the rules to visit other households.
Dave pleaded guilty to two charges under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 pertaining to social gatherings and wearing masks while outdoors. Three other charges of a similar nature were considered for his sentencing.
Singapore imposed a partial lockdown, known as the circuit breaker, from 7 April to 1 June last year. During this time, individuals were only allowed to leave their residence for essential purposes.
During Singapore's Phase 1 reopening, imposed from 2 to 18 June, individuals were only allowed to leave home for essential activities as well. From 15 April last year, individuals were required to wear their masks outside of their residence with few exceptions.
Dave have left his residence at Choa Chu Kang at around 7pm on 13 June last year to visit a friend in Hougang. He went to her house to pass her a birthday present and have dinner with her family.
He left the house some two hours later and met a friend, along with two others. Together, the four individuals went to a rooftop of a multi-storey carpark at Hougang to play mobile phone games. According to Dave's charge sheet, he had played Mobile Legends, a popular mobile phone game. He did not wear a mask during the incident.
At around 4.20am, an unknown person informed the police about an unrelated fighting incident at the multi-storey carpark. Dave and a friend left the multi-storey carpark at about 4.35am.
The prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Kang Jiahui, sought a fine of $2,000 for Dave. She pointed out that Dave had previously been offered a composition for a breach of the same regulation, but had committed the same breach again.
There had been no real need for Dave to pass his friend a birthday gift, and he had blatantly disregarded COVID-19 measures, said the DPP.
However, the DPP noted that Dave had co-operated with the police and did not have COVID-19 symptoms at the time of the offences. DPP Kang added that the at around 4am, the carpark where Dave had been was not likely to have been crowded.
Given Dave's young age, probation would usually be a sentencing option, however this was not suitable given the nature of the offences, DPP Kang told the court. Probation is a rehabilitative sentencing option usually offered to offenders between the age of 16 and 21. The offender will not have a criminal record upon completing probation.
Asked if he had anything to say, Dave said, "No."
District Judge Kessler Soh told Dave that given his age, he was prepared to consider probation. However, Dave asked to pay a fine.
For breaching COVID-19 regulations, Dave could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $10,000.
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