6 Orchard Towers Murder Suspects Had Charges Reduced As Attack Wasn’t Planned: AGC
Singapore has not been short of stories which riled up the emotions of people recently.
One story involves Natalie Siow, one of the 7 charged in the Orchard Towers murder in Jul 2019, getting her murder charge reduced to 5 month’s jail on 5 Oct.
The other was Chan Jia Xing, whose murder charge was reduced to a one-year conditional warning on Thursday (15 Oct).
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) issued a statement explaining the reduced charges on 20 Oct, following queries.
Among the stated reasons is that 6 suspects either only inflicted non-fatal injuries on the victim or tried to stop the fight. Nor was the attack pre-meditated.
3 Orchard Towers suspects had charges reduced for unplanned attack
In a statement released on Tuesday (20 Oct), the AGC clarified that 3 suspects – Joel Tan, Natalie Siow, and Ang Da Yuan – punched and kicked the victim, Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, during the fight, as reported by Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
That assault, however, only left bruises on Mr Noel’s upper body, which were not life-threatening.
The prosecution also could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the trio wanted to inflict greater harm.
Hence, AGC took into account that the attack was not premeditated when they sought a sentence.
Therefore, they were only charged with voluntarily causing hurt with common intention.
However, as the trio was aware that Tan Sen Yang, the one who slashed the victim, was carrying a karambit knife, a second charge of “consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place” was added.
In the end, the 3 received the following sentences:
- Siow was sentenced to 5 months’ jail, down from the 9 sought by the prosecutors
- Ang was sentenced to 8 months’ jail and 6 strokes of the cane
- Tan, who has no prior convictions, was meted out a sentence of 1 month’s jail
3 suspects tried to stop the fight or was not involved
AGC noted that Chan Jia Xing, Tan Hong Sheng, and Loo Boon Chong were either uninvolved in the fight or had tried to stop it.
As such, Chan’s murder charge was dropped to a one-year conditional warning for the charge of “consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place”.
Addressing his sentence, AGC said that Chan tried to intervene and break up the fight and was cooperative with the police.
But if he commits a crime within the 12 months, the charge against him will be reinstated and he could face jail time.
The other 2 suspects’ cases, Tan Hong Sheng and Loo, are still pending.
Tan and Loo both face one charge of “consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place” each, while Loo is faced with a second charge of perverting the course of justice.
The punishment should fit the crime
The last suspect, Tan Sen Yang, still faces the murder charge, and if convicted, he may be given the death penalty.
Even though the death took place over a year ago, the pain and loss will remain with Mr Satheesh’s family and friends for life.
Violence is never the answer to conflict, and sometimes, it is better to just walk away before making a mistake that one may regret for life.
We look forward to proper justice being upheld for the remaining 3 suspects.
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