Man kept reporting for work despite being issued stay-home notice, gets jail

Man kept reporting for work despite being issued stay-home notice, gets jail

Quresh Singh Sandhu
Quresh Singh Sandhu outside the State Courts on May 13, 2020. (Photo: Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY)

SINGAPORE: Despite being issued a stay-home notice after returning to Singapore from Batam, a security guard kept reporting for work and shared a room with others.

For one charge of exposing others to the risk of infection by breaching his stay-home notice, 27-year-old Quresh Singh Sandhu was jailed six weeks on Wednesday (May 27).

The court heard that Singh returned to Singapore from Batam on Mar 17 and was served a stay-home notice, which required him to remain in his residence between Mar 17 and Mar 31.

He signed a slip acknowledging that he understood the notice, which said he could not leave his residence at all times during the period.

However, after clearing immigration, Quresh went straight to Marina Bay Sands to start his shift as a security officer.

He took the train, switching MRT lines to get there, and began a 12-hour shift at 8pm that same day.

At 8am on Mar 18, when his shift ended, Quresh took a train to Rochor. He shared a room with three other colleagues at his company's quarters at Snooze Inn on Dunlop Street.

He did not tell his colleagues about his stay-home notice, and instead continued heading to work the next three days and returning to the shared lodging after completing his shifts.

At about 7am on Mar 21, Quresh's supervisor found out that a stay-home notice had been issued to him, and ordered Quresh to go home immediately.

Meanwhile, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority checked on him at his declared place of accommodation and did not find him there.

Quresh pleaded guilty to the charge. The prosecutor asked for at least six weeks' jail, the same as that given for Alan Tham Xiang Sheng, who breached his stay-home notice to eat bak kut teh.

READ: Jail for man who breached stay-home notice to eat bak kut teh at hawker centre, run errands

Comparing the two cases, Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh said Quresh's breach spanned almost five days, longer than Tham's, which was four to five hours.

Quresh also travelled to more locations on other occasions, but his risk of transmission is low as he has not tested positive for COVID-19.

However, Quresh did not breach his stay-home notice "for frivolous reasons", noted Mr Koh. 

"He also did not publicise or flaunt the breach of his stay-home notice," he added. "Nevertheless, the accused acted with reckless disregard. He breached his stay-home notice for almost five days, placing co-workers and members of the public at risk by continuing to work."

Quresh, who was unrepresented, said: "Your honour, I made a grave mistake which I can't undo at this point in time. I deeply regret my actions. I never wanted to intentionally put public lives in danger."

He said he was the sole breadwinner of the family, and that his father was jobless and his grandmother sickly.

For exposing others to the risk of infection, he could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

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Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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