Coronavirus: Woman sneezed in security guard's direction on purpose after failing to wear mask

Sun Szu-Yen pleaded guilty to one count of performing a rash act and an unrelated harassment charge. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A Taiwanese woman who was not wearing a mask when she tried to enter Ion Orchard shopping mall purposely sneezed at a security guard when she was denied entry amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Sun Szu-Yen, 46, then said: "You get it? You get it already!"

After that, she took her passport out of her bag and added: "I am China. I am Taiwan."

Sun, who is in Singapore on a long-term pass, pleaded guilty in a district court on Tuesday (June 30) to one count of performing a rash act and an unrelated harassment charge.

On April 12, security guard Devika Rani Muthu Krishnan, 56, was deployed to one of the entrances of Ion Orchard at Lift Lobby A on the fifth storey.

One of the Singaporean's tasks was to ensure that shoppers' particulars were recorded on a form for contact tracing.

She also had to ensure that they wore masks before entering the mall.

Sun, who was not wearing a one, came forward at around 12.40pm and filled out a form.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee said: "The victim reminded the accused to wear a mask before entering the mall. However, the accused used her scarf to wrap around her mouth instead.

"When the victim did not allow the accused entry into the mall, the accused pulled another scarf out of her bag and indicated that she wanted to use it as a mask."

Sun then sneezed in Ms Devika Rani's direction when the security guard refused to let her pass.

The Taiwanese took the form and scribbled on it to cancel her particulars.

When Ms Devika Rani tried to stop her, Sun told her to "shut up" and added: "Do your work."

A closed circuit television camera captured the incident, and Sun left the premises soon after.

Separately, the court heard that at around 10pm on June 4 last year, Sun felt "stressed and frustrated" while at home in her third-storey condominium unit near Bukit Timah Road. No reason was mentioned for what caused her to feel that way.

To vent her frustration , she picked up several items, including a vacuum cleaner and a glass bottle, and flung them out of a window.

A security guard at the property alerted the police after she refused to calm down.

On Tuesday, DPP Lee said that according to an Institute of Mental Health report, Sun has a mood disorder.

Deputy Principal District Judge Seah Chi-Ling then called for a report to assess her suitability for a mandatory treatment order (MTO).

Offenders given an MTO have to undergo treatment for their mental condition in lieu of jail time.

He also called for reports to assess her suitability for a community service order (CSO) as well as a day reporting order (DRO).

DROs are administered by the Singapore Prison Service. Offenders have to report to a day reporting centre for monitoring and counselling, and will also undergo rehabilitation.

Offenders issued a CSO have to perform supervised community service for a given period.

Sun will be sentenced on July 28.

For performing a rash act, she can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $2,500.

For harassment, she can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $5,000.

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