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Briton who breached SHN to meet Singaporean fiancee jailed, fined

Amir Hussain
·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
Nigel Skea, 52, and Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39. The couple were married in November last year. (PHOTO: Facebook / Agatha Maghesh)
Nigel Skea, 52, and Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39. The couple were married in November last year. (PHOTO: Facebook / Agatha Maghesh)

SINGAPORE — A British man who snuck out of a hotel room where he was serving his Stay-Home Notice (SHN) twice last September to meet his then-fiancee was on Friday (26 February) jailed for two weeks and fined $1,000.

Nigel Skea, 52, pleaded guilty last week to one count each of failing to wear a mask outside of his residence and for exposing others to the risk of infection by leaving his isolation room.

His partner, Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39, who had booked a room at the same hotel, was on Friday also jailed for one week.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty last week to abetting Skea to breach his SHN.

Skea did not manage to visit Agatha on his first attempt. On his second attempt the same day, he succeeded in spending the night with the 39-year-old Singaporean woman, but later found himself locked out from the floor that his room was on.

The couple were married on 14 November last year.

Couple planned illicit meeting

Skea, a tug master with Scotland-based Maritime Craft, booked a flight from London to Singapore to visit Agatha and arrived here on 20 September last year.

He was given a 14-day SHN and told that he could not leave his hotel room or receive visitors. He was taken to the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, where he was given a room on the 14th floor.

Skea then texted Agatha and the duo agreed to meet, with Agatha booking a room on the 27th floor at the hotel.

At about 12.50am on 21 September, Skea left his room without wearing a mask to find a viable route to get to Agatha's room.

He went to the emergency staircase and realised that access to it was one-way, and that it could only be opened from his side.

Shea then went back to his room and found its door locked. He called the reception desk for help and a hotel staff unlocked the door for him.

At about 2.20am, he ventured out again, this time jamming the room door with a piece of cardboard so that it was left slightly ajar.

He walked up the emergency staircase to the 27th floor, where Agatha opened the emergency exit door for him. The couple then spent the night together in her room.

When Skea tried to return to his room at 11.13am, he was unable to access his floor from the emergency staircase. As he continued down the stairs, he was stopped by a security officer.

Skea lied that his room door had closed behind him while he was trying to collect food that had been left outside.

The hotel's duty manager later escorted Skea back to his room and saw the door still ajar.

CCTV footage had also captured the culprit's movements in the hotel.

In mitigation, the couple's lawyer S S Dhillon said Skea had travelled to the Singapore to propose to Agatha and the couple were overcome by emotion as they had not met in an "extremely long time".

For their crimes, Skea and Agatha could have been jailed for up to six months and also fined up to $10,000, per charge.

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