Mandatory treatment order not recommended for woman caught on video not wearing a mask at Sun Plaza

Kasturi Govindasamy Retnamsamy was caught on video berating at least two men after refusing to wear a mask in Sun Plaza. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Mandatory treatment order (MTO) was not recommended for a woman who was caught on video berating at least two men in Sun Plaza after refusing to wear a mask at the shopping mall.

The reasons behind this decision were not mentioned in court on Friday (June 26), when she was due for sentencing.

Kasturi Govindasamy Retnamsamy, 40, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count each of harassment, using criminal force on a policewoman and an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Three other counts of harassment will be considered during her sentencing.

On June 12, she told the court that she has "extreme rage" and "multiple personalities" issues.

District Judge May Mesenas then called for a report to assess Kasturi's suitability for an MTO.

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

On Friday, defence lawyer Diana Ngiam stressed that her client needed help, and urged the court to call for reports to assess Kasturi's suitability for probation as well as a day reporting order (DRO).

Kasturi, who is in remand, told the court that she had been given sleeping pills and a doctor "seemed to be increasing the dosage".

She said: "I am not comfortable with that."

Kasturi added she has abusive parents and has not been in touch with them for five years. She also told Judge Mesenas that she would like to go to a shelter to stay.

Ms Ngiam said that Kasturi is looking for a "holistic regime" that can help her.

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.

Judge Mesenas on Friday called for both reports, and Kasturi is expected to be sentenced on July 14.

Kasturi was spotted with a mask in her hand while in the Sembawang mall at around noon on April 29. She refused to put it on when told.

Instead, she insulted mall staff and hurled vulgarities at a security officer. The incident was caught on video, which was widely shared.

It shows Kasturi taunting a man while demanding he remove his mask to speak to her.

She was back at the mall at around 2pm on May 7, and as a condition of entry, she had to scan her NRIC to facilitate contact tracing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh had earlier said: "The accused threw her NRIC onto the table and was vulgar towards the mall staff.

"The accused was asked to leave the premises but proceeded to walk into the mall although her NRIC had not been scanned."

At the third storey of the mall, she sat down on the floor and when a security supervisor approached her, she told him that she was "exercising" before using an obscene word on him.

Police arrived soon after and she was arrested for verbally abusing the security supervisor.

As Sergeant Geraldine Quek Jie Yi tried to handcuff her, Kasturi struggled and scratched the officer's right forearm. The policewoman later sought treatment at Woodlands Polyclinic for a 5cm scratch.

For verbally abusing another person, an offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $5,000.

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