Briton to be deported after Singapore conviction for refusing to wear mask

A woman wearing a face mask looks at mobile phone in a shopping mall at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, 17 February 2020. (PHOTO: EPA-EFE/HOW HWEE YOUNG)

SINGAPORE, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A British man jailed in Singapore for breaking coronavirus protocols by refusing to wear a face mask was released on Thursday and will be deported, the country's prison department said.

Benjamin Glynn, 40, was convicted on Wednesday and sentenced to six weeks in jail but was released due to time served while remanded in detention, which included two weeks in a mental health institution, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said.

Glynn was found guilty on four charges over his failure to wear a mask on a train in May and at a subsequent court appearance in July, as well as causing a public nuisance and using threatening words towards public servants.

In a statement seen by Reuters, SPS said Glynn was being processed by Singapore’s immigration authority, which would make arrangements for his deportation.

The judge had sent Glynn for psychiatric assessment due to his conduct and remarks made in court.

On Wednesday he asked the court to drop what he called “unlawful charges” and for his passport to be returned so he could leave Singapore, according to media outlet CNA.

It quoted the judge as telling Glynn that he was “completely misguided” in is belief that he was exempt from Singapore’s laws on wearing masks.

Glynn did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

The Asian business hub is well-known for its enforcement of strict rules and has jailed and fined others for breaking COVID-19 regulations. Some foreigners have had their work permits revoked for rule breaches.

The city-state has kept its coronavirus outbreaks under control, in part due to its strict enforcement or measures.

In February, a Singapore court sentenced a British man to two weeks in jail  after he sneaked out of his hotel room to meet his then fiancée while in quarantine. (Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Martin Petty)

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