COVID-19: Actor Terence Cao to plead guilty over 13-person gathering at his house

SINGAPORE — Local actor Terence Cao will be pleading guilty to his charge of permitting 12 individuals to enter his house for a birthday celebration in October last year, his lawyer told the court on Tuesday (27 April).

Cao's lawyer, S S Dhillon, told the court that his client will be "taking a certain course" after representations were rejected by the prosecution.

The 53-year-old actor's hearing for him to plead guilty has been fixed for 25 May.

The gathering at Cao's condominium in Daisy Road was between 2 and 3 October last year, and was allegedly in breach of COVID-19 regulations, which prohibit more than five visitors in a household. At the time, Singapore was under Phase 2 reopening, with various safe distancing measures still in place.

Apart from Cao, a 50-year-old man, Lance Lim Chee Keong, will also be pleading guilty to his charge of gathering outside his residence with 12 individuals who were not from the same household over the same incident. The next hearing for Lim to plead guilty is on 18 May.

The gathering was reportedly to celebrate the birthday of fellow artiste Jeffrey Xu.

A photo uploaded last October shows 13 people, including local deejay Sonia Chew and actor Shane Pow, at the gathering.

Eleven of the guests have been fined $300 in relation to the incident, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) previously said. They are Xu, Pow, Chew, Jeremy Chan Ming Yuew, Heng Tee Kok, Tan Jun Chuan, Debbie Li Shuyi, Eleanor Wang Chunwei, Valnice Yek Jiahui, Dawn Yeoh Yishan, and Julie Tan Shaoyin.

The BCA said that in deciding to issue the 11 a composition fine instead of prosecuting them, it had taken into account the level of their culpability in relation to the breach.

If convicted of flouting COVID-19 regulations, Cao and Lim could each face a jail term of up to six months and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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