Orchard Towers killing

Duo's murder charges reduced to assault

Police officers investigating the crime scene at Orchard Towers on July 2 last year. The victim, Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, had died after being assaulted. ST FILE PHOTO
Police officers investigating the crime scene at Orchard Towers on July 2 last year. The victim, Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, had died after being assaulted. ST FILE PHOTO

Of the 7 originally charged, only one alleged offender still faces murder charge

Two men allegedly linked to the Orchard Towers killing have had their charges reduced from murder to assault in a district court yesterday.

The duo are Joel Tan Yun Sheng and Ang Da Yuan, both 26.

With this latest development, only one alleged offender, Tan Sen Yang, 28, still faces a murder charge.

Joel Tan and Ang were each offered bail of $15,000. The court heard that Joel Tan intends to plead guilty to the offence and will be back in court on March 4. Ang's pre-trial conference will be held the next day.

Besides Joel Tan and Ang, four others - including the sole woman allegedly involved in the case - had their murder charges reduced last year. Their cases are still pending.

They are Tan Hong Sheng, 22, Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 23, and Loo Boon Chong and Chan Jia Xing, both 26.

All seven were originally charged with the murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, who was attacked at 6.30am on July 2 last year. He died in Tan Tock Seng Hospital about an hour later.

According to court documents, Joel Tan, Tan Sen Yang, Siow and Ang allegedly assaulted Mr Satheesh at the Orchard Road shopping mall that morning by kicking and punching him.

Siow's murder charge was reduced to assault in October last year. Tan Hong Sheng, Loo and Chan had their respective murder charge reduced on July 11 last year to that of consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place.

They were allegedly in the company of Tan Sen Yang , who is said to have had a foldable "kerambit" knife in his possession at the Naughty Girl Club at 5.46am at Orchard Towers. The weapon, a curved knife resembling a claw, was allegedly used in the attack.

Ang is represented by lawyers Anil Singh Sandhu, Kertar Singh and Mohamed Arshad from Kertar & Sandhu law firm.

Joel Tan's lawyers are Mr Josephus Tan and Mr Cory Wong from Invictus Law Corporation.

 
 
 

Yesterday, Mr Anil Singh told The Straits Times that they are "elated" for their client and his family. He added: "We will be meeting our client very soon to take his instructions on the amended charge."

Mr Josephus Tan told The Straits Times: "The family felt a sense of relief upon knowing about the reduced charges when we informed them...and are looking forward to Joel's release as soon as possible."

Offenders convicted of assault can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000. Those convicted of murder can face the death sentence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2020, with the headline 'Duo's murder charges reduced to assault'. Print Edition | Subscribe