A British man arrested for refusing to wear a face mask on Singapore’s subway has been detained in a mental hospital after describing legal action against him as “disgusting”.
s his trial started yesterday, 39-year-old Benjamin Glynn said he would “never plead guilty or not guilty” to the charges against him.
“I refuse to be a slave,” he added as anti-mask wearing supporters backed him from the public gallery.
“I think it’s insane that I am facing a trial at all, just for not wearing a mask.”
The Yorkshireman had his €3,200 bail revoked on July 19 after originally being arrested for his refusal to wear a mask on May 7.
He faces additional charges for failing to wear his mask at a court appearance in July.
The court was urged to assess the married father of two’s mental state by Timotheus Koh, the deputy public prosecutor, who said Mr Glynn’s family described a “marked change” in his actions since the pandemic began.
“The accused’s behaviour in court speaks for itself,” Mr Koh said.
But Mr Glynn replied in a raised voice: “My mind is crystal clear. I’m wide awake. I’m enlightened.”
He claimed he was “sovereign” throughout the trial, adding “the charges don’t apply to me”.
Mr Glynn has worked in Singapore since 2017 as an employee of a British company based in the country. He said his family had since returned to their home in Leeds without him.
“I want to leave the country anyway – just let me go,” he said.
He was videoed breaking Singapore’s strict mask-wearing mandate, and officers tracked him down after the clip was widely shared online.
The judge ordered Mr Glynn to be remanded to the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric monitoring until the trial continues on August 19.
As he was led away the defendant shouted that the police had hunted him down “like a pack of animals” and that the decision “is not justice”.
The charges against Mr Glynn include three offences – two counts of harassment and being a public nuisance – under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. A fourth charge relates to not wearing a mask outside the court.
The charge of harassment comes with a maximum jail term of a year and a fine of up to €3,000, while conviction for breaching the Covid-19 rules could result in a six-month sentence and €6,200 fine.
Telegraph Media Group Limited