Man who absconded Orchard Towers murder hearing re-arrested, faces fresh rioting charge

Wan Ting Koh
Eight people were arrested for the murder of a 31-year-old man at Orchard Towers on 2 July, 2019. (Screencaps of CCTV footage, social media)

SINGAPORE — A man linked to an alleged murder in Orchard Towers was produced in court on Friday (27 September) after he absconded a court hearing last month.

Tan Hong Sheng, 22, was also slapped with an additional charge of rioting, after he and four others allegedly assaulted 30-year-old Desmond Neo Zhao Fu outside Club Secret at 5 Magazine Road on at 3.36am on 9 August.

He allegedly committed the fresh charge while out on bail for the Orchard Towers offence. A video of the rioting incident was uploaded onto social media, showing more than 20 individuals in a brawl outside the club at night.

Lawyer Josephus Tan remains as the counsel for Tan, who is scheduled to return to the court on 4 October. The prosecution applied to have Tan remanded for a week for scene visits.

Failed to turn up for court mention

A warrant of arrest was issued for Tan after he had failed to turn up for his court mention on 29 August.

He was part of a group of seven people who were originally charged with the murder of Satheesh Noel Gobidass, who died after a scuffle in Orchard Towers on 2 July this year.

The other six are Tan Sen Yang, 28, Ang Da Yuan, 26, Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 23, Loo Boon Chong, 25, Joel Tan Yun Sheng, 26, and Chan Jia Xing, 26. All their cases are still pending before the court.

On 11 July, Tan Hong Sheng, Loo and Chan had their charges downgraded to consorting with co-accused Tan Sen Yang, who was carrying an offensive weapon, a Kerambit knife, in a public place.

They were each released on bail of $15,000.

According to their charge sheets, the trio were in the company of Tan Sen Yang, who had the foldable knife with him at the Naughty Girl Club on the second story of Orchard Towers at 5.46am on 2 July.

While Loo and Chan had showed up for their hearing on 29 August, Tan Hong Sheng had not, spurring the court to issue a warrant of arrest against him.

Quartet face murder charges

The altercation on 2 July was captured by cameras and widely viewed online. The footage showed Satheesh fighting with some individuals before stumbling to the building's entrance. He was later taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital but died at 7.25am.

The seven were charged a day after the incident and remanded for a week to assist with investigations.

The remaining three men and Siow still face charges of murder with common intention, which is punishable by death.

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Orchard Towers assault: 7 charged with murder of 31-year-old man

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