Accused in Orchard Towers murder case jumps bail, fails to show up in court

Accused in Orchard Towers murder case jumps bail, fails to show up in court

Pieces of tissue paper soaked in blood seen at the entrance of Orchard Towers
Pieces of tissue paper soaked in blood seen at the entrance of Orchard Towers on Jul 2, 2019. (Photo: 8world News/Cai Youxia)

SINGAPORE: An accused person related to the Orchard Towers murder jumped bail and failed to turn up in court on Thursday (Aug 29).

Tan Hong Sheng, 22, was originally charged alongside five men and one woman for murder with common intention.

His charge was later reduced to consorting with one of the accused, Tan Sen Yang, at Naughty Girl Club on Jul 2. Tan allegedly had a foldable karambit knife, a small curved knife, with him at the time.

READ: Orchard Towers death: Murder charges withdrawn for three suspects

The 31-year-old victim, Satheesh Noel Gobidass, died in hospital after the incident at Orchard Towers.

He was shown in closed-circuit television footage walking slowly in front of an escalator before collapsing. Other footage shows the victim in scuffles with several people at Orchard Towers.

Tan Hong Sheng was meant to show up in court on Thursday for a further mention of his case, along with two other co-accused who have had their charges similarly reduced. 

While Chan Jia Xing and Loo Boon Chong attended the hearing in the State Courts, Tan was a no-show.

READ: Orchard Towers murder: The 7 suspects and the charges they face

His lawyer Josephus Tan of Invictus Law Corporation told the court that Tan's mother had filed a police report three days ago.

She was given 48 hours to locate her son, and the defence counsel told the judge he and his team would stay on record as Tan's lawyers until he was arrested.

Tan's mother will have to attend a hearing in October to explain what happened and provide reasons for why the bail amount of S$15,000 should not be forfeited.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for Tan. 

Of the seven involved in the case, four face a charge of murder with common intention: Tan Sen Yang, 27; Ang Da Yuan, 26; Joel Tan Yun Sheng, 26; and Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 22.

The penalties for the reduced charge Tan faces under the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act are a maximum jail term of three years and at least six strokes of the cane.

Source: CNA/ll(hm)

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