Businessman faces amended charge over father's death

Mark Tan Peng Liat, 29, was charged in court in February with causing the death of his father.
Mark Tan Peng Liat, 29, was charged in court in February with causing the death of his father.

A businessman accused originally of murdering his father now faces an amended charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Mark Tan Peng Liat, 29, was charged in court in February this year with causing the death of his 67-year-old father, Mr Tan Kok Keng, at a semi-detached house in West Coast Rise at 5.26pm on Feb 10.

The amended charge states that he caused his father's death by applying a headlock and a chokehold over his neck region, which were acts done with the knowledge that they were likely to cause injuries that could lead to death.

The senior Mr Tan reportedly fell unconscious and was taken to the National University Hospital. He had a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Tan was also slapped with an additional charge of having 15 airsoft guns without a licence at the house that evening. The prosecution had asked for bail of $100,000.

Objecting, Tan's lawyer Derek Kang said bail of not more than $40,000 would be sufficient.

He told the court the incident arose over a quarrel between his client and the latter's father. He said Tan posed no danger to society if released on bail.

District Judge Eddy Tham set bail at $50,000. Tan's passport has been impounded.

If convicted of manslaughter, Tan could be jailed for up to 10 years or fined or caned or receive any combined punishment.

The maximum penalty for the other charge is a $5,000 fine and three years' jail. The case has been adjourned to Nov 16.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2015, with the headline 'Businessman faces amended charge over father's death'. Print Edition | Subscribe