It was reported earlier this month that 11 foreigners and 1 Singaporean were charged in court after they allegedly flouted safe distancing measures and took part in a party on Lazarus Island amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic outbreak (‘11 foreigners and 1 SG charged in court for flouting safe distancing rules on islands‘, 3 Oct).
According to court documents, the event took place between 11am and 6pm on 8 Aug, National Day Eve. Current COVID-19 regulations prohibit social gatherings of more than five people who do not stay in the same place of residence.
The twelve people charged consist of 7 men and 5 women:
- Natalie Joanna Sarkies, 29 (Singaporean)
- Helen Ann Sullivan, 30 (British)
- Zoe Louise Cronk, 30 (British)
- Jeff Richard Alexander, 31 (British)
- Joshua Adam Roth, 31 (British)
- Lowri Mair Jeffs, 31 (British)
- James Riby Oram Trimming, 31 (British)
- Richard Henri Lagesse, 31 (British)
- Luong Thi Thu Ha, 31 (Vietnamese)
- William Edwin Dunford, 32 (British)
- Edward John Joseph Lee-Bull, 32 (British)
- Paul Jonathon Gold, 32 (British)
Their island escapade came to light when Ms Sarkies posted photos of their party at Lazarus Island on social media soon after their trip.
Briton Paul Jonathon Gold pleads guilty
Yesterday (14 Oct), British national Paul Jonathon Gold was fined $3,000 by the court after he pleaded guilty to committing the offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. The fine was imposed in lieu of six days in jail.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh said, “His conduct belittles the tremendous efforts and sacrifices of the vast majority who have, amongst many things, given up the pleasures of social interaction with family and friends for the public good to contain the spread of Covid-19.”
“The court should take this opportunity to send a clear deterrent message that we must continue to remain vigilant, and that retribution against offenders during this time of crisis will be swift and certain,” the DPP added.
In mitigation, Gold’s lawyer pointed out that his client was the first in the group to plead guilty, “He is remorseful and in that regard apologetic for the folly of ways on 8 August, he has opted to plead guilty at an early stage and he has learned a bitter lesson and arising from this breach his stay in Singapore is about to come to an end.”
He added that his client has since been dismissed from his job at the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle and will likely “not be able to re-enter Singapore again”.
Straits Times reported that Gold’s employment pass status on the Ministry of Manpower website had showed that it was cancelled on 21 Sep last month.
Gold could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $10,000 for his charge. The cases involving the remaining 11 people will be heard next week on 23 Oct.
In June, 7 foreigners were fined in court when they were caught flouting safe distancing rules at Robertson Quay. It was noted that 6 of them also had their work passes revoked by the Manpower Ministry and were banned from working here again.