SINGAPORE: The sixth person linked to a fatal brawl at Orchard Towers was sentenced to four years and nine months' jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Friday (Mar 5), leaving the sole man facing the murder charge as the last to be dealt with.
Tan Hong Sheng, 24, was given the penalties after pleading guilty to three charges of rioting, being a member of an unlawful assembly to assault a person and consorting with a person who had an offensive weapon.
The latter was co-accused Tan Sen Yang, who had a karambit knife and brandished it in public on the day of the incident on Jul 2, 2019, and faces a charge of murdering 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass.
Another five charges were considered in sentencing for Hong Sheng. He also pleaded guilty to his involvement in two other separate fighting incidents in November 2018 and April 2019.
Hong Sheng had known Sen Yang for about a month at the time of the Orchard Towers offence, and the pair had gone drinking together a few times.
Hong Sheng said he did not want to meet Sen Yang for drinks anymore as he had seen him behaving aggressively while wielding a knife. But Hong Sheng did not leave the Naughty Girl Club in Orchard Towers on Jul 2, 2019, when Sen Yang turned up.
Hong Sheng's group of friends got into a dispute with another group at about 6.20am that day as they were leaving the club. He saw Sen Yang wield a karambit knife - a small curved knife - and injure two people.
As the group was leaving Orchard Towers, the victim Mr Satheesh walked down an escalator and confronted a member of Hong Sheng's group.
In the fight that ensued, Hong Sheng saw Sen Yang hold his knife in his right hand and punch Mr Satheesh. Eventually, Hong Sheng pulled Sen Yang away, but Mr Satheesh had collapsed.
Hong Sheng was frightened and fled with his group, heading to a hawker centre in Boon Lay where they talked about what happened. Sen Yang purportedly told Hong Sheng and his co-accused Loo Boon Chong not to worry as he would take responsibility.
Seven people including Hong Sheng were charged with murder after Mr Satheesh died. Apart from Sen Yang, the rest have had their charges reduced and have been sentenced.
Other than the Orchard Towers incident, Hong Sheng was involved in two other fights. He used a glass Martell bottle to attack a man at Club V5 at Ming Arcade, and joined three other men in attacking a victim for "stealing" a woman from Hong Sheng's friend.
The prosecution had asked for at least 60 months’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for Hong Sheng, saying that he had been convicted of rioting in 2011 and 2016 and committed the Orchard Towers offence while out on police bail.
Invictus Law counsels Josephus Tan and Cory Wong, who also represented Orchard Towers co-accused Joel Tan Yuen Sheng and Chan Jia Xing, asked for 45 to 50 months' jail and nine to 12 strokes of the cane instead.
They said he “was calm, collected and had demonstrated both restraint and composure during the entire Naughty Girl Club incident”.
Of the co-accused in the Orchard Towers case, Ang Da Yuan was sentenced in March last year to eight months' jail and six strokes of the cane.
Joel received four weeks' jail in March last year for voluntarily causing hurt to Mr Satheesh by common intention, while Chan was given a conditional warning in October for a reduced charge of consorting with a person possessing an offensive weapon.
The sole woman in the case, Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, was given five months' jail in October, while Loo Boon Chong was given five months' jail and fined S$1,000 in January.
Sen Yang's case is pending in the high court.