'Sovereign' Briton who refused to wear mask on MRT deported

Benjamin Glynn arriving at the State Courts in July. He made headlines after he was filmed refusing to wear a mask on a train in May.
Benjamin Glynn arriving at the State Courts in July. He made headlines after he was filmed refusing to wear a mask on a train in May.PHOTOS: ST FILE, SCREENGRAB FROM KEEFE CHAN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The British man here who claimed to be a sovereign citizen and refused to wear a mask on a train has been deported.

Benjamin Glynn, 40, a former recruitment consultant, was deported back to Britain on Friday (Aug 20), said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

He will be barred from re-entering Singapore, ICA said.

So-called sovereign citizens believe they are immune from government rules.

Glynn made headlines after a video of him refusing to wear a mask on a train on May 7 surfaced online.

During his arrest on May 9, he threatened to "drop" the police officers and adopted a boxing stance.

He was charged on July 2 and offered bail.

But on the same day, he was seen not wearing a mask at the State Courts building.

Singapore has made mask-wearing mandatory when outside, to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He was hauled back to court on July 19 and slapped with a charge for that incident.

His bail was also revoked, leading to him being remanded in prison from July 19 to Aug 4.

The court later ordered him to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health from Aug 5 to 18.

On Wednesday morning, Glynn appeared in court and claimed trial to the four charges against him.

District Judge Eddy Tham later found him guilty of two charges under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, as well as one count each of harassment and being a public nuisance.

Glynn was sentenced to six weeks' jail, which was backdated to July 19.

For each charge of not wearing a mask, Glynn could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

As his period of remand amounted to more than two-thirds of his sentence, he was allowed to be released from prison on remission almost immediately.

Convicts can be released on remission for good behaviour after serving two-thirds of their jail term.

But foreigners cannot remain in Singapore without a valid pass.

Glynn's work pass had earlier been revoked by his previous employer after he lost his job here.

He was handed over directly to the ICA for deportation.

The Briton has also been permanently banned from working in Singapore.

Throughout the court proceedings, Glynn had claimed to be a sovereign, saying he had no contract with the Singapore Government and the authorities, and thus the laws of Singapore did not apply to him.

Judge Tham said Glynn had shown a "blatant disregard for the law" and was "completely misguided".