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Woman originally charged with murder in Orchard Towers case gets 5 months' jail on downgraded offences

Woman originally charged with murder in Orchard Towers case gets 5 months' jail on downgraded offences

Accused person Natalie Siow. (Photos: Facebook/Nataliemaurerx, 8world News)

SINGAPORE: A woman linked to the Orchard Towers murder case was sentenced to five months' jail on Friday (Oct 9) for her role in the case.

Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 24, originally faced a murder charge along with six others, but her charges were downgraded.

She pleaded guilty to one charge each of voluntarily causing hurt with common intention and of consorting with a person possessing an offensive weapon.

A third charge of behaving in a disorderly manner in public was taken into consideration for sentencing.

READ: Evidence, intention and involvement: AGC, lawyers explain the decisions behind reducing murder charges

The court heard that Siow was a part-time waitress at a pub at the time of the offence. In the early hours of Jul 2 last year, she met her friends and the other co-accused parties and went club-hopping.

They ended up at the Naughty Girl Club on the second floor of Orchard Towers. There, Siow's co-accused Joel Tan Yun Sheng ordered two towers of beer and continued drinking, while Siow played a drinking game with another co-accused, Tan Sen Yang.

Tan Sen Yang is the only one of the seven accused persons in this case to still face a murder charge.

The court heard that Siow had teased Tan Sen Yang during the drinking game after he lost two rounds. Tan then took out a karambit knife from his pocket and slammed it on the table. A karambit knife is a small curved knife resembling a claw.

Joel saw the knife and covered it, telling Tan Sen Yang not to show it around. Both Joel and Siow saw Tan Sen Yang keep the weapon.

READ: Orchard Towers death: First two men sentenced for role in fatal fight

At about 6.20am, Siow and her friends decided to leave the club, but faced congestion at the doorway where there was another group of about five people.

Taunting broke out between the two groups and security officers stepped in to intervene. Tan Sen Yang took out his karambit knife and swung it at the people there, slashing a security guard on the finger and cutting the face of a passer-by.

When Siow saw the fight, she had the urge to join in, said Deputy Public Prosecutors Ang Feng Qian, Dora Tay and Benedict Teong.

She dashed at the people in the doorway and jumped at them. She also flipped a table positioned near the club entrance onto the floor, and had to be pulled back repeatedly by her friends.

Satheesh Noel Gobidass died on Jul 2, 2019. (Screengrab: Facebook/District Singapore)

After some scuffling, someone shouted "police" and Siow's group left, taking the lift to the ground floor.

While they were walking towards the exit, the victim, 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass, descended the escalator and confronted co-accused Ang Da Yuan, who was in Siow's group.

The victim and Ang shoved each other and both Joel and Tan Sen Yang went to help Ang, with Tan Sen Yang brandishing his knife.

READ: Orchard Towers death: 2 more get murder charges downgraded, leaving one facing capital charge

A scuffle ensued and Siow rushed forward towards the victim. Tan Sen Yang slashed the victim a few times, drawing a lot of blood.

Joel punched the back of the victim's head, and Siow tried to kick the victim, swinging her arm at him a few times.

The victim retreated, and Siow advanced to try and kick him, but was pulled back by her group.

The victim was bleeding profusely by this time. Ang continued to attack the victim, punching him in the facial region.

Eventually, Siow's group left Orchard Towers. After they left, the victim walked a few steps towards the exit, before collapsing face-first on the floor.

Siow later realised she left one of her slippers behind and went back to retrieve it. She walked past the victim who was lying on the floor.

Passers-by helped the victim and an ambulance was called, but he died shortly after, with a stab wound to the neck certified as cause of death.

PUBLIC DISQUIET CAUSED: PROSECUTION

The prosecution said while the death of the victim was not attributable to Siow's actions, there were significant aggravating factors including public disquiet and group violence.

Siow's defence said Siow initially faced a capital charge, which was "extremely harrowing" for her. Her guilty plea is a sign of her remorse and repentance, said the lawyer.

Siow's sentence comes after Joel and Ang were sentenced in March. Joel received four weeks' jail for charges similar to Siow's, while Ang was given eight months' jail and six strokes of the cane. The other cases are pending.

For voluntarily causing hurt with common intention, Siow could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$5,000, or both. For consorting with a person with a dangerous weapon, she could have been jailed for up to three years. She cannot be caned as she is a woman.

Source: CNA/ll

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