Clive Ainsley Griffin, a 56-year-old British national, was fined S$1,200 for failing to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2021. Griffin and his wife, a 48-year-old Singaporean, were involved in the incident.
The court heard that the couple had dinner and drinks with friends at the Dallas Bar at Marina Bay Sands on September 11, 2021. They were reminded by the bar owner to finish their drinks before the 10:30pm cut-off time for alcohol consumption.
At 10:28pm, safe-distancing ambassadors were seen patrolling the area to ensure compliance with the alcohol consumption rules.
Griffin and his wife left the bar after their drinks were cleared but refused to wear masks when asked to do so by the ambassadors.
One of the ambassadors recorded the incident on their phone, during which Griffin questioned the necessity of wearing a mask in Singapore. The couple’s refusal to comply led to their case being reported to the police.
Griffin pleaded guilty to failing to wear a mask, with a second charge of public nuisance taken into consideration. The prosecution sought a fine, leaving the decision to the court.
In his defense, Griffin’s lawyers argued for a fine of not more than S$1,000, stating that he had no prior convictions and had acted out of character due to a momentary lapse in judgment. They also highlighted that Griffin was vaccinated at the time, and there was no evidence of COVID-19 transmission resulting from his actions.
The judge acknowledged Griffin’s lack of prior convictions but emphasized that he continued to not wear a mask despite being instructed to do so. The case involving Griffin’s wife is still pending before the courts, according to report.
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