20-year-old pleads guilty to sneaking into friend's hotel room during her stay-home notice
SINGAPORE: Wanting to surprise his friend on her birthday, a young man snuck into the hotel where she was serving her stay-home notice and stayed with her for an hour.
Kaiser Sow, 20, pleaded guilty to one charge of abetting his friend by aiding her in breaching terms of her stay-home notice. A second charge of criminal trespass will be considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Sow's friend, 20-year-old Teo Yue Qi, arrived in Singapore on Nov 22 last year and was placed on stay-home notice until Dec 6, 2020.
She was to remain alone in her hotel room at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Hotel in Raffles Avenue and not come into close contact with others.
On Nov 28, Ms Teo's birthday, Sow wanted to surprise her.
He had been in touch with Ms Teo and knew which room she was in. He also knew she was serving her stay-home notice and that he was not supposed to be in close proximity with her during the isolation period.
Despite this, Sow went to the hotel at about 3pm but he realised that he could not access Ms Teo's room on the 17th floor.
He followed some guests to the 30th floor, exited the lift and found a service elevator that took him to the 17th floor.
Ms Teo answered the door and was surprised to see Sow. He walked into her room and she did not stop him, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh.
Sow spent about an hour in Ms Teo's room. He left at about 4pm, walking down the stairs from the 17th floor. At the ground floor, a hotel employee saw him and tried to detain him, but Sow fled and later took a taxi home.
The prosecutor did not object to calling for a probation suitability report. Sow, who turned up in a white long-sleeved shirt, submitted a written mitigation plea to the judge.
He did not elaborate on his plea, but the judge said it referred to Sow's personal circumstances, and that Sow said he would abide strictly by the terms of probation if he were given such a sentence.
The prosecutor said Sow had mentioned in his mitigation plea that he was punished by the Singapore Armed Forces, but pointed out that this was for a different offence, for "conduct to the prejudice of good order".
It is a separate legal interest, and Sow is not being charged or punished twice for the same offence, said the prosecutor.
The judge called for a probation suitability report but stressed that this did not mean he would definitely be sentencing Sow to probation.
Sow will return to court for sentencing in September.
For abetting an offence under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations 2020, he could be jailed up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
This is the second case of a breach of stay-home notice at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia.
Briton Nigel Skea was given two weeks' jail and fined S$1,000 in February for conspiring to breach a stay-home notice so he could spend time with his then-fiancee Agatha Maghesh in the hotel. The woman, now his wife, was given a week's jail.