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Orchard Towers murder: Man sentenced to life imprisonment and caning for fatal stabbing

A 32-year-old man, Tan Sen Yang, was sentenced to life imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane for the 2019 Orchard Towers murder. He was found guilty of fatally stabbing a 31-year-old victim during a confrontation.



Orchard Towers murder: Man sentenced to life imprisonment and caning for fatal stabbing

SINGAPORE: A 32-year-old man has been handed a life sentence along with 12 strokes of the cane for the murder that took place at Orchard Towers in 2019.

Tan Sen Yang, who was found guilty of murdering Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, during a confrontation, was the sole individual armed with a karambit knife amidst a group of seven during the altercation.

Following a thorough examination of the evidence, a High Court judge delivered the verdict on 25 April, highlighting the prosecution’s compelling case against Tan.

Despite a vigorous defence presented by his lawyers, the judge determined that the prosecution had established Tan’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The defence had argued that Tan may not have been the one who inflicted the fatal stab wound, pointing to another member of his group, Mr Chan Jia Xing, captured with an item in hand on surveillance footage.

However, the judge dismissed this, suggesting the object was likely an e-cigarette.

Additionally, the defence claimed that Tan’s mental conditions, including adjustment disorder and alcohol-use disorder, diminished his responsibility.

Yet, the judge found no substantial evidence linking these conditions to his offence.

With the conviction secured, the prosecution opted not to pursue the death penalty.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun sought life imprisonment and a minimum of 15 strokes of the cane, citing precedents.

Conversely, defence counsel pleaded for a reduction to 12 strokes of the cane.

Orchard Towers altercation leads to fatal encounter

The incident, happened on 2 July 2019, at around 5:25 am, when Tan and his companions visited the Naughty Girl Club in Orchard Towers.

Approximately an hour later, a dispute erupted with another group, including Mr Muhammad Fairus Muhammad Ali, leading to a chaotic scene where secret society slogans were shouted.

Amidst the confrontation, Tan brandished a karambit knife, resulting in injuries to a security officer, Mr Barathkrishnan, and Mr Fairus.

Following the intervention of security officers, Tan and his companions retreated to the ground floor of Orchard Towers.

However, as they prepared to leave, Mr Satheesh, known to Mr Fairus, descended the escalator alone and confronted Tan’s group.

A physical altercation quickly ensued, during which Tan, armed with a knife, assaulted Mr Satheesh, punching him three times in the face.

Tan’s associates also joined in, further assaulting the victim before swiftly fleeing the scene.

Subsequently, upon learning of Mr Satheesh’s death, Tan decided to surrender to authorities.

Later that day, at approximately 2:35 pm, officers apprehended him near the Toa Payoh South Community Club.

Legal outcomes

Following the initial murder charges against Tan and six others, the legal outcomes varied for each individual involved in the incident.

Mr Loo Boon Chong received a five-month jail term for disposing of Tan’s T-shirt, while Ms Natalie Siow Yu Zhen was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment for assault and being in the presence of someone with a weapon.

Additionally, Mr Joel Tan Yun Sheng faced a four-week jail sentence for assault, whereas Mr Ang Da Yuan received an eight-month jail term along with six strokes of the cane for assault and association with Tan.

In contrast, Mr Chan Jia Xing received a conditional warning due to his association with Tan, sparing him a conviction and a criminal record.

On the other hand, Mr Tan Hong Sheng was sentenced to four years and nine months’ imprisonment, along with 12 strokes of the cane, for being in Tan’s company and for unrelated rioting charges.

Furthermore, Tan, who initially faced additional charges related to the injuries sustained by Mr Barathkrishnan and Mr Fairus, had these charges withdrawn following his murder conviction.

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Strange that it took 5 years to finally close the case.

This fella should have been strung up and long dropped. Then 1 less oxygen thief to worry about.