Covid-19 rule breach

Terence Cao plans to plead guilty

Actor Terence Cao Guohui is said to have breached social distancing rules at a birthday party last year.
Actor Terence Cao Guohui is said to have breached social distancing rules at a birthday party last year.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Veteran actor Terence Cao Guohui intends to plead guilty to breaching safe distancing rules at Mediacorp artiste Jeffrey Xu's birthday party last year, his lawyer said in court yesterday.

A party guest - Lance Lim Chee Keong - has also indicated his intention to plead guilty, said one of his lawyers, Mr Cory Wong.

Cao and Lim each face a charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act for breaching phase two regulations that restricted social gatherings to no more than five people.

Court documents state that Cao, 53, lives in a condominium apartment in Daisy Road, off Braddell Road, where the party was held. He is said to have allowed 12 guests, including Lim, Mr Xu and fellow actor Shane Pow, 30, into the unit between 9pm on Oct 2 last year and 1am the following day.

Lim, 50, is accused of leaving his home to meet the partygoers "without reasonable excuse".

Eleven of those who gathered have already been fined $300 in lieu of being prosecuted due to their lower level of culpability.

Mr Xu's 32nd birthday party celebrations received flak on social media after pictures of the unmasked group went viral online.

Cao, who is represented by defence lawyer S.S. Dhillon from Dhillon & Panoo law firm, is expected to return to court on May 25.

Lim is represented by Mr Wong, Mr Josephus Tan and Mr Marshall Lim, who are from Invictus Law Corporation.

His case will be heard again on May 18.

First-time offenders who breach laws under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2021, with the headline 'Terence Cao plans to plead guilty'. Subscribe