A British ex-pat on trial in Singapore for refusing to wear a mask on the subway has been remanded into a mental hospital after declaring the court hearing ‘ridiculous.’
Benjamin Glynn, originally from Yorkshire, berated the judge on Thursday calling the proceedings ‘disgusting’ and ‘preposterous’ as spectators cheered in the public gallery.
The 39-year-old was originally arrested for failing to wear a mask on the train on May 7, but has been further charged for refusing to wear a face covering at his first court appearance last month.
Prosecutor Timotheus Koh told the judge he had communicated with Glynn’s friends and family who spoke of a ‘marked change of behaviour’ since the pandemic started.
‘The accused’s behaviour in court speaks for itself,’ Mr Koh added.
Glynn shot back: ‘My mind is crystal clear. I’m wide awake. I’m enlightened. Just because I refuse to be a slave, you accuse me of being a lunatic.’
Throughout the hearing, Glynn declared that he was a ‘sovereign’ – an apparent suggestion he was the authoritative power – and denounced the legitimacy of the court, saying he would neither plead guilty nor not guilty.
Benjamin Glynn, 39, went viral on the internet in May after he was filmed refusing to wear a mask on the subway in Singapore
Glynn also lost a new job he was due to start in the UK and fears he could have to spend as much as 12 months on bail before his trial
The married father-of-two further claimed that he had been ‘kidnapped and abducted’ and ‘tortured physically and psychologically.’
He says he spent 18 days ‘being tortured in Changi Prison.’
Glynn urged the judge to return his passport so that he could travel home to Britain to see his wife and children.
‘They’ve stolen my passport, my God-given right to travel,’ he said.
‘I can’t believe this has been going on since the 8th of May,’ Glynn said, according to Channel News Asia.
‘It’s so straightforward it’s so clear that this sham of a case should be dropped.’
He added: ‘I’m disgusted with how the Singapore judicial system has treated me.’
At this point a woman got up in the public gallery to clap and cheer.
Glynn has been in custody since July 19 after his £2,700 bail was revoked by the judge.
At the start of proceedings, the defendant introduced Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as his legal representative.
Mr Rahman has also acted as Glynn’s bailor, according to The Straits Times, and was turned away from the court previously for inappropriate attire.
District Judge Eddy Tham blocked Mr Rahman from representing Glynn because he was not legally qualified.
Mr Rahman told the judge that he was an ‘ambassador-at-large and advocate of Kingdom Filipina Hacienda’ and had every right to defend his ‘sovereign compatriot.’
Judge Tham replied that this was ‘not the position’ of Singaporean law.
Prosecutor Mr Koh went on to argue that Glynn needed to be reviewed by psychiatrists because there is evidence he is not of ‘sound mind.’
‘Prosecution has received a letter from the accused’s family and friends or persons purporting to be his family and friends and in this letter, the persons report a marked change of behaviour in the accused’s person that was noticeable especially after the COVID restrictions set in,’ Mr Koh said, according to CNA.
Glynn, 39 (pictured) arrived for another court appearance last month without a mask and was further charged for this alleged offence
Glynn (pictured) is against the wearing of masks as he doesn’t believe them to be effective
Mr Koh noted an increased ‘hostility’ by Glynn towards his family.
The prosecutor said that in light of this new information, as well as Glynn’s behaviour in court, it would not be ‘prudent’ to continue to trial without a medical report.
Glynn interrupted the lawyer, saying: ‘The certificate of vaccine regulations do not apply to the living man and I’m well aware of this fact.
‘Why have the mask regulations been dropped all over America and Europe? Because they are unconstitutional. I don’t get my information from the Straits Times.’
However, Judge Tham agreed with Mr Koh and ordered Glynn to be remanded to the Institute of Mental Health until August 19.
Before he was led to the cells, Glynn called out: ‘Good luck getting into the Book of Life, Mr Koh. How can you say Singapore is a safe country. Police who hunt me down like a pack of wild animals. This is not justice. This is disgusting.’
Glynn had been working for the Singaporean branch of a British recruitment company since January 2017.
Weeks before he was due to return to the UK for a new job, he was filmed without a mask on a subway near Raffles Place, the financial district of Singapore, on May 7.
In Singapore it is mandatory to wear a mask when residents leave their homes, with very few exceptions.
The clip was widely shared on social media and detectives soon tracked Glynn down.
Glynn is a British expat originally from Helmsley, Yorkshire, who is now stuck in Singapore awaiting trial after Singapore police arrested him on May 8 for not wearing a mask on public transport the day before
The Brit claims that he was arrested by police while his family were asleep on May 8.
He previously revealed how his family had returned home to Leeds on May 31, saying: ‘This whole situation is ridiculous. I want to leave the country anyway – just let me go!
Glynn has previously spoken out to say he thinks masks are ineffective in preventing the spread of Covid-19
‘I think it’s insane that I am facing a trial at all, just for not wearing a mask.’
He is now out of work because he was due to transfer to a position back in the UK, which has now been revoked.
‘It’s a horrible situation to be in when I don’t know when I can next see my family,’ he said previously.
‘Especially when I don’t even believe masks stop the spread of the virus in the first place.
‘I honestly believe it’s a hoax – I don’t feel there is any evidence to show mask-wearing is effective in any way.
‘From a scientific basis, I think it’s nonsense, but now all I can do is wait.’
Glynn is charged with harassment, being a public nuisance, an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and a charge linked to an offence ‘within and outside’ the States Court building.
If convicted for breaching the Covid-19 rules he faces up to six months in prison and a fine of £5,300.
For harassment, the maximum sentence is a year in jail and a fine of £2,700.