Murder charges against 3 dropped in Orchard Towers case

Murder accused Natalie Siow Yu Zhen (in red) being taken back to the crime scene at Orchard Towers. She is among the four still accused of murdering Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, who died following a brawl. LIANHE ZAO BAO FILE PHOTO
Murder accused Natalie Siow Yu Zhen (in red) being taken back to the crime scene at Orchard Towers. She is among the four still accused of murdering Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, who died following a brawl. LIANHE ZAO BAO FILE PHOTO

Charges against men reclassified to consorting with person carrying offensive weapon in a public place

Three men in a group of seven charged with the murder of a man at Orchard Towers on July 2 were given a discharge amounting to an acquittal yesterday.

Tan Hong Sheng, 22, Loo Boon Chong, 25, and Chan Jia Xing, 26, had their charges reclassified to consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place. Accused parties given a discharge amounting to an acquittal cannot be charged again with the same offence.

Tan and Chan were each offered bail of $25,000, while Loo's bail was set at $15,000. The trio will be back in court on Aug 1.

According to court documents, they were allegedly found in the company of Tan Sen Yang, 27, who is said to have had a foldable "kerambit" knife in his possession at the Naughty Girl Club on the second storey of Orchard Towers at 5.46am on July 2. The weapon is a curved knife resembling a claw.

Four others, including Tan Sen Yang, are still facing a murder charge each, and no bail was offered to them.

The other three are Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 22, as well as Joel Tan Yun Sheng and Ang Da Yuan, both 26.

All seven were originally charged last week with the murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, who died following a brawl at Orchard Towers on July 2.

 
 
 
 

Chan, Joel Tan and Tan Hong Sheng are represented by a team of lawyers from Invictus Law Corporation, Mr Josephus Tan, Mr Cory Wong and Mr Shane Yeo.

Siow is represented by Ms Cheryl Ng from Intelleigen Legal and Mr Amarick Gill, who runs his own law firm. Loo is represented by Ms Diana Ngiam and Mr Sujesh Anandan from Quahe Woo and Palmer law firm.

Yesterday, the court heard that Tan Sen Yang is believed to be involved in more offences.

Details about them were not revealed in court.

He will be remanded at the Central Police Division, and will be back in court next Thursday.

Siow, Joel Tan and Ang will undergo psychiatric observations.

The two men will be remanded at the Changi Prison Complex Medical Centre, while Siow will be detained at the Changi Women's Prison. The trio will be back in court on Aug 1.

Offenders convicted of murder will face the death penalty.

Those convicted of consorting with a person carrying an offensive weapon in a public place can be jailed for up to three years and receive at least six strokes of the cane.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2019, with the headline 'Murder charges against 3 dropped in Orchard Towers case'. Print Edition | Subscribe