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Another “Badge lady”? British PR fined $8K for challenging police officers who told him to wear his mask properly

The Independent logo The Independent 19/8/2022 Obbana Rajah
© The Independent Singapore

A 55-year-old man was fined S$8,000 on Thursday (Aug 18) for flouting Covid-19 laws. Philip Richard Mockridge, a British PR, repeatedly challenged police officers who told him to wear a face mask properly.

Mockridge was questioned by police officers about why he was not wearing his face mask properly at a fast food outlet at City Square Mall. In response, he asked the officers which laws they were referring to and refused to pull his mask up. Mockridge was already under investigation for two similar breaches at other locations when he committed the above offence.

He pleaded guilty to one count under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. Another two charges were taken into consideration for sentencing. However, Mockridge added that he intended to appeal his sentence.

According to a TODAY Online report, Mockridge had his mask pulled down to his chin such that it did not cover his nose and mouth. He did not have any food or beverages at the time.

What Initially Happened

The officers told him he had to put his mask on while not eating or drinking, before presenting their police identification upon his request.

When one of them told him once more to put his mask back on properly while not eating or drinking, he replied: “Are you sure about that? I’m not so sure.”

He then walked away to collect his food while still unmasked. Soon after, he returned to the officers with his takeaway food in a plastic bag and his mask still pulled down.

One of the officers, Sergeant Shawn Ang Yi Xiang asked if he had an issue with wearing a mask to which Mockridge replied: “Which law are you referring to?”

After Sergeant Ang read out the law, Mockridge said: “And if I don’t, what will you do?”

They told him about the usual composition fines for a first-time and second-time offence and the usual practice of charging third-time offenders in court. He then said: “Are you threatening to put me in a cage?”

Mockridge remained unmasked for at least 15 minutes, interacting with people at the fast-food outlet counter when he collected his food.

Those convicted of flouting Covid-19 laws can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or punished with both. The punishment can be doubled for repeat offenders.

In May 2021, the Badge Lady, a former naval officer, had her 15 minutes of fame (or the opposite) not only for refusing to wear a mask but for demanding that the safe distancing officers who asked her to cover her nose and mouth amid the Covid-19 pandemic produce and show her their badges.

Hence, the nickname. 

She was spotted repeatedly asking for the safe distancing ambassadors’ badges as they advised her to wear a mask while queueing at MBS.

“If you have no badge, why are you asking me to do something?” she was heard saying. “Who are you representing?” she asked.

The 54-year-old failed to wear a mask last year on numerous occasions in public places, including the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) integrated resort and outside the State Courts. /TISG

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