Aussie in killer litter case charged with 'religiously aggravated' act

Wan Ting Koh
PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — An Australian man originally charged with causing the death of an elderly person after allegedly throwing down a glass wine bottle from a condominium was handed a new charge related to the same incident on Thursday (5 December).

Andrew Gosling’s new charge of causing hurt with a glass wine bottle is said to be “religiously aggravated”. Under Section 74 of the Penal Code, this means that Gosling is liable to one and a half times the maximum punishment for causing hurt with a weapon.

In the 18 August incident, the 47-year-old is said to have thrown the bottle down from the seventh floor lift landing to the fifth floor BBQ area of Spottiswoode 18 condominium at about 8.35 pm. He allegedly knew that his actions would cause hurt, and the bottle struck a person known as Manisah, bruising her right shoulder, according to the charge sheet.

Gosling, an IT expert, will return to court on 2 January. He has been assessed by a private psychiatrist and a report will be produced in a week’s time.

Gosling was first charged on 30 August for causing the death of 73-year-old Nasiari Sunee through a rash act not amounting to culpable homicide in the same incident. A month later, Gosling’s charge was amended to the more serious charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with an instrument.

Nasiari was reportedly hit on the head by the bottle and later taken to hospital where he died at about 9am the next morning.

Gosling’s charge sheet states that Nasiari, who was at a table with Manisah when the bottle struck him, sustained a skull fracture.

According to the penal code, an offence is racially or religiously aggravated if at the time of, or immediately before or after the offence, the offender demonstrates hostility towards the victim based on the victim’s membership of a racial or religious group. The offence can also be considered to be religiously aggravated if it is motivated by hostility towards members of a racial or religious group based on their membership of that group.

If convicted of causing grievous hurt, Gosling can be jailed up to 15 years or for life, in addition to a fine or caning. If convicted of causing hurt with a weapon, he can be jailed up to seven years, fined or caned, or with any combination of the penalties.

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