Orchard Towers killing: 2 more men have murder charges reduced to assault

A photo taken on July 2, 2019, shows Orchard Towers’ main entrance cordoned off for police investigations. A man was found earlier on the ground at the entrance in a pool of blood.
A photo taken on July 2, 2019, shows Orchard Towers’ main entrance cordoned off for police investigations. A man was found earlier on the ground at the entrance in a pool of blood.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Two men allegedly linked to the Orchard Towers killing have had their murder charges reduced to that of assault in a district court on Friday (Feb 21).

They are Joel Tan Yun Sheng and Ang Da Yuan, both 26 years old.

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 his 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 - have 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, who are 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.

On Friday, Mr Anil Singh told The Straits Times that they are "elated" for their client and his family.

He added: "Our representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers were acceded to, culminating in the amendment of the charge...We will be meeting our client very soon to take his instructions on the amended charge."

Mr Josephus Tan told ST: "As Joel's defence lawyers, we are glad that prosecution has agreed to our representations and came to the correct landing on his role in this very unfortunate case.

"The family felt a sense of relief upon knowing about the reduced charges when we informed them yesterday 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.