SINGAPORE — A British man who snuck out of the hotel room where he was serving his Stay-Home Notice (SHN) twice last September to meet his then-fiancee admitted to his offences on Monday (15 February).
Nigel Skea, 52, was locked out of his room on his first attempt to visit Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, who had booked a room at the same hotel.
On his second attempt that same night, he succeeded in spending the night with the 39-year-old Singaporean woman, but later found himself locked out from the floor that his room was on.
At the State Courts, Skea pleaded guilty to one count each of failing to wear a mask outside of his residence and for exposing others to the risk of infection by leaving his isolation room. Agatha also pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy with Skea to have him breach his SHN.
The couple were married on 14 November last year.
Couple planned for illicit meeting
Skea, a tug master with Scotland-based Maritime Craft, booked a flight from London to Singapore to visit Agatha and arrived here on 20 September last year.
He was issued with a 14-day SHN and was informed that he would not be allowed to leave his hotel room or receive visitors. Skea was then taken to the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Hotel, where he was assigned a room on the 14th floor.
Skea then texted Agatha to inform her about his accommodations and the duo agreed to meet, with Agatha booking a room at the hotel. She took a room on the 27th floor and told Skea this over WhatsApp.
At about 12.52am on 21 September, Skea left his room without a mask and scouted the hotel premises to ascertain if there was a viable route that he could take to get to Agatha's room.
He went to the emergency staircase and realised that access to it was one-way and that it could only be opened from his side. Upon returning to his room minutes later, he found its door locked.
Shea then called the hotel’s reception desk for help and a staff member unlocked the door for him.
At about 2.22 am, he ventured out again, this time jamming the door with a piece of cardboard so that it was left slightly ajar.
He walked up the emergency staircase to the 27th floor, where Agatha opened the emergency exit door for him. They then spent the night together in Agatha's room.
When Skea tried to return to his room at 11.13am, he was unable to access his floor from the emergency staircase. As he continued down the stairs, he was stopped by a security officer.
Skea lied to the security officer and told the latter that his room door had closed behind him while he was trying to collect food that had been left outside. The officer then informed the hotel's duty manager of what had happened and the latter then escorted Skea back to his room.
While Skea told the same lie to the duty manager, the deception unravelled when his door was found ajar. CCTV footage also captured Skea's movements in the hotel.
The couple's lawyer, S S Dhillon said that the couple had not met in an "extremely long time" and were overcome by emotion. Skea had travelled to the Singapore with the intention of proposing to Agatha, said the lawyer.
Agatha has since lost her job as an administrative executive, added the lawyer.
The couple's sentencing has been adjourned to 26 February.
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