American pilot says he did not get a hard copy of stay-home notice, judge rejects his plea
SINGAPORE: An American pilot accused of breaching his stay-home notice had his guilty plea rejected on Wednesday (Apr 29) after he took issue with a line in the statement of facts.
Brian Dugan Yeargan, 44, was in court to plead guilty to his charge of leaving the hotel where he was supposed to stay for 14 days.
He had arrived in Singapore from Australia on Apr 3 and was given a stay-home notice for Apr 3 to Apr 17.
However, on Apr 5, he allegedly left Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, took a train to City Hall and walked to Chinatown Point to shop.
However, after the statement of facts was read to him on Wednesday and he was asked if he admitted to it entirely, Yeargan said: "I cannot admit to receiving a physical copy of the stay-home notice. That did not occur."
His lawyer Ronnie Tan said his client intends to plead guilty but will not accept any statement to the effect of being physically served the stay-home notice.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jesudevan V said that all passengers who pass through arrival and need to stay home due to COVID-19 measures are issued physical notices as a matter of standard operating procedures.
"In any case, the same contents of the physical notice were already provided to him electronically," he added.
District Judge Ong Hian Sun said: "I will take it as qualifying the plea."
He rejected the guilty plea and adjourned the case to a pre-trial conference on May 8.
If found guilty of breaching his stay-home notice, Yeargan could be jailed for up to six months, fined a maximum S$10,000 or both.