Singaporean wife, British man, pleads guilty after he violates stay-home notice to meet her at the hotel

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SINGAPORE: On Monday (Feb 15), a British national and his Singaporean wife pleaded guilty to unlawfully spending time together in the Ritz-Carlton Millenia hotel during his stay-home notice.

Nigel Skea, 52, was allowed, under COVID-19 regulations, to stay in his hotel room for 14 days. Three times he violated the rules and on his third departure he met his then fiancee, Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, in another room in the same hotel.

He left his room without a mask on three occasions on Sept 21 of last year. He wandered twice down the corridor outside his room on the 14th floor, for about 10 minutes each time, according to court records.

He met Eyamalai, 39, on the third time. She did not serve a stay-home note, but had reserved a separate room on the same hotel’s 27th floor.

On the 27th floor, the pair met, with Eyamalai opening Skea’s emergency exit door. From around 2.30am to 11.40am, they then spent the night together in the bed. In the end, Skea tested negative for COVID-19.

Under the Infectious Diseases (COVID-19 – Stay Orders) Regulations 2020 and last month’s COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, they were prosecuted.

The prosecution suggested that Skea be jailed for four weeks and fined S$1,000, and that he be jailed for two weeks for Eyamalai.

Skea had “clearly premeditated” the crimes, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee said, as he had scanned a viable route to get to Eyamalai’s hotel room, and had used a cardboard stopper to leave his hotel room ajar so that he could return. He would’ve been left out otherwise.

When she opened a one-way door on an emergency staircase, he managed to get to Eyamalai’s room with her help. He was unable to do so as he tried to return to his room and requested assistance from hotel staff members. After his room door unintentionally closed behind him, he lied that he got trapped while he was trying to collect the food left outside his room, the court heard.

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