SINGAPORE — A woman who kept leaving her residence to exercise with her boyfriend during Singapore's partial lockdown last year was given six months' administrative probation on Wednesday (6 October).
According to her charges, May Moe Kyi, 23, a Myanmar national and Singapore permanent resident, visited her boyfriend, 22, eight times over a period of almost three weeks. She engaged in cardiovascular exercises such as lunges and jumping jacks at the staircase landing outside of her boyfriend’s residence.
She also visited him at his residence another two times for games and movies.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of leaving her residence without a valid reason, and six counts of meeting another person who does not live within her residence for a social purpose. The remaining charges were taken into consideration for her sentencing.
Probation is a rehabilitative sentencing option that is usually offered to offenders between the ages of 16 and 21. The offender will not have a criminal record upon completing probation.
As part of her probation, May Moe Kyi will have to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am and perform 40 hours of community service. Her mother and sister were required to place a $5,000 bond to ensure her good behaviour.
Offences during partial lockdown
Due to the pandemic, Singapore entered a partial lockdown period known as the circuit breaker from 7 April to 1 June last year. Individuals were not allowed to leave their residences for non-essential purposes, nor were they allowed to meet others outside of their residence for social purposes.
However, May Moe Kyi, then 21 met her boyfriend continuously from 7-26 April. She went to his residence to watch movies, play games, or engage in cardiovascular exercises, usually taking a Grab to do so. She would then linger there for hours before leaving.
May Moe Kyi's lawyer Debbie Ooi had sought probation for her client, saying that her actions had been "precipitated by genuine, albeit misguided attempt" to help her boyfriend, now fiance.
The boyfriend, who suffered from anxiety as well as a respiratory infection, had been cooped up in his friend's home, and May Moe Kyi herself had a sister who had depression.
Her actions were "not borne out of malice or blatant disregard of law or spirit of the law", said Ooi.
Sentencing May Moe Kyi, District Judge Kok Shu-En noted that the accused was 21 at the time of the offences. In addition, she had not reoffended, had pleaded guilty and also has a conducive environment for turning over a new leaf.
This case was not so severe that the principle of rehabilitation could not displace deterrence as the dominant sentencing consideration, she added.
For each of her charges, May Moe Kyi could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $10,000 on a first offence.
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