COVID-19: 3 men charged for breaching circuit breaker measures, including abuse of officers

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
Poh Cher Wee was charged in court for breaching circuit breaker measures. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
Poh Cher Wee was charged in court for breaching circuit breaker measures. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Three Singaporean men in their 50s were charged in court on Wednesday (22 April) for breaching circuit breaker measures.

Their offences include eating in public, failing to wear their masks properly, hanging out in public with others not from their household, and for abusing police and safe-distancing enforcement officers.

The trio are Christopher Amurutham, 56, Poh Cher Wee, 58, and Ravi Sinathamby Subramaniam, 52. All face more than one charge.

They are believed to be the first few cases under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, passed by Parliament on 7 April and effective from 8 April.

Christopher Amurutham

Christopher faces four charges, two of which relate to abusing a female police officer on 18 April between 1pm and 1.10pm. He is said to have hurled vulgarities at her at Block 20 Lorong 7 Toa Payoh before allegedly using criminal force on her by using his hand to push her hand away while she was arresting him.

The 56-year-old is also accused of failing to wear his mask properly at a public bench at the same location at 12.50pm on the same day. He is said to have worn his mask only over his chin, failing to cover his nose and mouth.

His last charge involves Christopher allegedly drinking and eating at the same location and public bench at around 1pm that day.

He told the court he intends to plead guilty and not seek a lawyer. He will return to court on 6 May.

Poh Cher Wee

Poh is said to have sat outside the ground floor lift lobby landing at a block in Bedok North Street 3 from 9 to 11.30pm on 14 April.

He allegedly had a casual chat with two others who were not from his household, without permission and with no reasonable excuse. When a police officer issued a notice of composition to him for breaching safe distancing measures, he allegedly tried to flee.

He was later allegedly drunk and annoyed a police officer by twice shining his mobile phone flashlight onto the officer’s face.

Poh faces two charges, and told the court that he did not wish to plead guilty yet, as he intends to engage a lawyer under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

He said through a Mandarin interpreter that he was a cancer patient under daily medication and could not have people talk to him loudly as it would “put fear in” him.

His case has been fixed for a pre-trial conference on 8 May.

Ravi Sinathamby Subramaniam

Ravi is said to have verbally abused and criminally intimidated safe-distancing enforcement officers and police officers on 14 April and 18 April at Whampoa Drive.

On 14 April, between 7pm and 7.30pm, in front of Blk 74 Whampoa Drive, he allegedly met another individual not living in the same place of residence for a social purpose, breaching the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.

A short while later, while outside Hao Mart Minimart, Ravi allegedly verbally abused a police officer and caused him annoyance by behaving in a disorderly manner while drunk.

On 18 April, at about 12.50 pm, at a coffeeshop at Blk 81 Whampoa Drive, Ravi used vulgarities on a female safe-distancing enforcement officer.

At about 1.10 pm, he allegedly threatened the same woman and another male enforcement officer by saying, “ Don’t let me see you again if not I will break your face.” He had also threatened the same male officer and uttered a vulgarity at him 10 minutes earlier.

Ravi is also accused of failing to wear a mask over his nose and mouth, but wore it covering his chin, on the same occasion.

Facing eight charges, he told the court through a video-link appearance that he intends to plead guilty and has no money to engage a lawyer.

In tears, he told District Judge Lorraine Ho that he would try to call his friend to bail him out.

His plead guilty mention has been fixed on 29 April.

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