SINGAPORE: A 30-year-old woman has been fined S$5,000 for several offences, including leaving her house twice to meet her boyfriend during the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period.
Renukha Arumugam was fined on Monday (Jun 15) after being charged with five counts under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.
These include two charges of meeting individuals not from her household for a social purpose, two of leaving her house without a reasonable excuse and one count of not wearing a mask properly when outside.
According to charge sheets, Renukha left her house on three occasions: Twice to meet her boyfriend and a third time to meet a friend.
At about 3am on Apr 12, Renukha left her Jurong West flat to meet her boyfriend at a stone bench in front of Block 713, Clementi West Street 2.
Five days later, she left her flat again at 12.30pm to meet her boyfriend at the same block.
Renukha was also accused of not wearing her mask over her nose and mouth at the entrance of the car park at Block 724, Clementi West Street 2 at 1.30pm that same day.
On Apr 29, Renukha met a friend at the void deck of her block at about midnight and went to purchase snacks at a supermarket near Jurong Green Community Club. They spent about one-and-a-half hours together.
Renukha was the one who initiated the meeting, according to the prosecution.
"She did not have any good reason to meet ... She could have bought the snacks herself and she could also have simply called him over the phone if she wished to discuss family matters with a friend," the prosecution said.
DISPUTE WITH FAMILY MEMBERS
According to court documents, Renukha had a dispute with her family on Apr 17. She tried to call her boyfriend, but was unable to reach him and decided to go to his block instead.
She was drunk at the point in time, the court documents said.
Her boyfriend met her at the void deck as he did not want her to come up to his flat.
During their meeting, she told him her family issues and began to cry.
After passers-by began looking at the couple, her boyfriend – aware of the restrictions on social gathering – decided to send Renukha home, court documents said.
An unidentified caller reported to the police at about 1.10pm that “one boy hitting a girl here. Please come down now.”
When the police arrived, they saw Renukha sitting on a grass patch at the side of the road and her boyfriend standing and waiting for a taxi. Both of them were not wearing masks at that point in time.
Renukha later put her mask on and handed another to her boyfriend to wear.
Her boyfriend was issued with a notice of composition – a fine without going to court – for his offence. Renukha was not offered composition because of her multiple prior breaches, court documents said.
She could have been fined up to S$10,000 and jailed a maximum of six months on each charge.