Businessman's death at spa: 'Suicide or sex game gone wrong'

Club One Seven Spa and Gym in Upper Circular Road, where Mr Yeo was found dead in a cubicle, is strictly for men only. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Club One Seven Spa and Gym in Upper Circular Road, where Mr Yeo was found dead in a cubicle, is strictly for men only. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A naked businessman found hanging at an all-male spa could have died as the result of a sex game that went wrong, a court heard yesterday.

Mr Yeo Hung Song may have been practising auto-erotic asphyxiation, which involves starving the brain of oxygen to increase sexual arousal.

But State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid said that suicide was also a possibility. He added that the 48-year-old restaurant boss, who was not married, suffered from depression and was believed to have harboured suicidal tendencies.

Mr Yeo was found dead in a cubicle at Club One Seven Spa & Gym - which is strictly for men only and has membership cards that list no names but only numbers. The court heard that he arrived on a motorbike at about 2pm on Nov 19 last year.

He then used the facilities before entering Room 5, which featured a saddle bench with wooden legs and a 2m-tall metal frame that had metal chains dangling from each corner.

At 9.30pm, cleaner Asrin Ali, 45, knocked on the door of the locked cubicle but got no response.

He summoned his supervisor, who climbed a ladder and peeped through a gap between the 2m-high wall and the ceiling.

Mr Yeo was on bended knees and there was a chain around his neck.

A bottle of yellow liquid labelled Rush Ultra Strong sat nearby. Tests by the Health Sciences Authority showed that it was meant to be inhaled for its aphrodisiac and euphoric qualities, although Mr Yeo had not used it.

On the floor was a towel, which was later found to contain semen.

The businessman's clothes were in a locker and there was no sign of a struggle.

No traces of anyone else's DNA were found on his body except his hands.

Investigating Officer Siaw Kah Swee said this could have come about when Mr Yeo touched items in the room.

The inquiry heard that Club One Seven consists of a gym, a cafe and about 40 cubicles spread over two floors in Upper Circular Road.

Lifetime membership is $10, while entry costs about $20 each time.

Mr Yeo, a partner of a restaurant on Thomson Road, was a regular patron, visiting the club one to two times a week.

The inquiry heard he told a friend two weeks before his death that he wanted to commit suicide.

He left two brothers and a sister. They were not present at the hearing.

In 2009, the nude body of former movie star David Carradine, 72, was found in a Bangkok hotel with a rope around his neck and genitals.

The Thai authorities believed he may have died in a similar sex act.

khush@sph.com.sg