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Police investigating woman for contempt of court after she shouted during Benjamin Glynn's trial

Police investigating woman for contempt of court after she shouted during Benjamin Glynn's trial

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: The police are investigating a case of contempt of court allegedly committed by a 51-year-old woman, a police spokesperson said on Thursday night (Aug 19).

This comes after the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) issued an order authorising the police to begin such investigations, the spokesperson said in response to CNA's queries.

"The woman allegedly interrupted court proceedings during a criminal trial in the State Courts on Aug 18, 2021," said the spokesperson, adding that police investigations are ongoing.

The woman had appeared in court on Wednesday, apparently to support Briton Benjamin Glynn, 40, who went on trial that day for multiple offences, including failing to wear a mask.

She waved at him before proceedings began, and the hearing was under way when a security guard gestured at her to wear her mask properly as it had slipped down her nose.

She made a sound and turned to face him, with her mask off her face. She later claimed that her mask had "broken" and kept trying to put it back on to no avail.

When the judge told her to please step outside the court if she was not wearing a mask, the woman shouted: "This is ridiculous kangaroo court."

When guards approached her, she reacted: "You don't touch me I have no contract with you!"

She later added that this was "not about a mask" but "about control".

When the judge said that was "enough interruption" and signalled the guards to take her out of the courtroom, the guards asked her to step out, but she refused.

"You don't tell me what to do, I'm a living breathing woman. Shut up! I do not respect the judge," she said.

She was eventually led out of the courtroom after the judge halted proceedings.

The State Courts said in a statement on Thursday that they had referred the matter to the police. 

The State Courts spokesperson said trials and hearings held in open court are open to the public, but attendees must observe court etiquette and decorum at all times.

Those who misbehave, disrupt court proceedings or fail to comply with the judge's directions or court rules may be required to leave the courtroom, and may also be reported to the police in appropriate cases, she said.

Penalties for contempt of court in connection with any proceedings in a State Court go up to 12 months' jail, a fine of up to S$20,000, or both. 

Source: CNA/ll

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