Orchard Towers murder

Woman's charge reduced to assault

Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, who was offered bail of $15,000 yesterday, was one of seven people originally charged with the murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, who died on July 2.
Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, who was offered bail of $15,000 yesterday, was one of seven people originally charged with the murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, who died on July 2.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The sole woman allegedly linked to the Orchard Towers killing burst into tears when told yesterday that her murder charge was reduced to assault.

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.

Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 23, was one of seven people originally charged with the murder of 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass, who was attacked at 6.30am on July 2 and died in Tan Tock Seng Hospital about an hour later.

The other six people originally charged with murder are: Tan Hong Sheng, 22; Loo Boon Chong, 25; Tan Sen Yang, 28; as well as Joel Tan Yun Sheng, Chan Jia Xing and Ang Da Yuan, all 26. Their cases are pending.

According to court documents, Siow, Tan Sen Yang, Joel Tan Yun Sheng and Ang allegedly punched and kicked Mr Satheesh at the ground floor of Orchard Towers.

Siow is represented by Mr Amarick Gill of law firm Amarick Gill and Ms Cheryl Ng of Intelleigen Legal.

Following the proceedings yesterday in a district court, Mr Gill told The Straits Times that his client was elated and had burst into tears when he told her about the reduced charge.

Mr Gill said: "She is looking forward to going home to her family and will cooperate with the authorities as advised by me. I am grateful that the prosecution acceded to my representation."

Siow was offered bail of $15,000 yesterday and will be back in court next Friday.

Tan Hong Sheng, Loo and Chan also saw their respective murder charges reduced on July 11 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 murder charge still stands for Tan Sen Yang, Joel Tan Yun Sheng and Ang.

Tan Hong Sheng, who was originally on bail, is in custody after skipping a court appearance on Aug 29. He was rearrested and taken back to court on Sept 27, where he was served with an unrelated rioting charge.

In an earlier court session, it emerged that while he was out on bail, Tan Hong Sheng allegedly took part in an unlawful assembly with four other people to hurt one Desmond Neo Zhao Fu, 30. The offence took place outside Club Secret at Central Mall in Magazine Road at around 3.40am on Aug 9.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2019, with the headline 'Woman's charge reduced to assault'. Print Edition | Subscribe