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Student fined S$1,200 for breaching Covid-19 rules at New Year’s Eve gathering in Clarke Quay

SINGAPORE — A teenager was fined S$1,200 on Tuesday (May 17) for breaking Covid-19 regulations during an impromptu New Year's Eve gathering at Clarke Quay that swelled to the hundreds.

Adam Abdullah (pictured) pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act by failing to keep at least a 1m distance from others in a public place.

Adam Abdullah (pictured) pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act by failing to keep at least a 1m distance from others in a public place.

SINGAPORE — A teenager was fined S$1,200 on Tuesday (May 17) for breaking Covid-19 regulations at an impromptu New Year's Eve gathering at Clarke Quay that swelled to the hundreds.

Adam Abdullah, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act by failing to keep at least a 1m distance from others in a public place.

The Singaporean is among at least 14 people who have been charged in relation to the gathering, several of whom have been earlier fined by the court.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority previously said that 19 people were served composition fines for breaking the rules at the gathering. 

Videos circulated on social media in January showed crowds gathered outside Riverside Point in Clarke Quay to usher in the new year. The national Covid-19 multi-task force had called the impromptu countdown party "a potential superspreading event".

The court heard that shortly before midnight on Dec 31 last year, Adam and about six of his friends were near Read Bridge outside Riverside Point.

At the same time, 20-year-old Kotra Venkata Sai Rohankrishna was filming some footage for his YouTube channel with three other people.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jeremy Bin said that Kotra was wearing a Spider-Man costume interviewing people in the area on camera.

The two groups met at about midnight when Adam spotted Kotra standing on a parapet with his costume’s mask pulled up. Kotra was allegedly not wearing a face mask at the time.

Adam, who had his own face mask pulled below his chin, approached Kotra and greeted him loudly. Court documents did not state whether the two knew each other before this.

“In the process, he failed to keep a distance of at least 1m from (Kotra). This was captured in (Kotra’s) recorded video footage,” DPP Bin said.

Kotra’s case is pending before the courts.

On Tuesday, the judge told Adam that Kotra’s lawyer had asked for probation in lieu of a fine.

The judge then asked Adam, who did not have a lawyer, if he would also ask for probation since he is one year younger than Kotra.

Probation is usually offered to first-time offenders between 16 and 21 years old. This does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences. 

Adam replied that he did not want to delay his court case any longer and asked for a fine instead.

He added: “I just want to say that I really didn’t mean to go so crazy on that day because we just turned 18… It was just a lapse of judgement and I wasn’t thinking properly and I want to apologise for that.”

Adam, who is a full-time student, said that he raised the amount to pay his fine through his internship salary and part-time work on the weekends. 

The judge said she could see that Adam is quite remorseful and warned him not to get too carried away in the future.

Those found guilty of breaching Covid-19 regulations can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.

Related topics

court crime Covid-19 Clarke Quay New Year's Eve breach safe distancing

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