SINGAPORE — A man who was involved in the high profile fatal incident at Orchard Towers in 2019 was on Friday (15 January) jailed for five months for obstructing the course of justice by discarding a blood-stained white T-shirt belonging to the alleged murderer.
Loo Boon Chong, a 27-year-old Singaporean, had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge, along with one count of unlawful gambling in an unrelated incident for which he was fined $1,000. If he fails to pay the fine he will have to serve another five days in jail.
Along with six others, Loo had initially been charged with the murder with common intention of 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass at the entrance of Orchard Towers on 2 July 2019. About a week later, Loo’s charge was downgraded to consorting with co-accused Tan Sen Yang, who was carrying a kerambit knife in a public place. The count of consorting with a person in possession of an offensive weapon was considered in sentencing on Friday as part of Loo’s plea bargain.
Of the seven charged, only Tan Sen Yang still faces the charge of murder. His case is pending before the High Court. Four others – Joel Tan Yun Sheng, Ang Da Yuan, Natalie Siow, and Chan Jia Xing – have been dealt with. The remaining accused, Tan Hong Sheng, is expected to plead guilty next month.
About the case
On 2 July 2019, Loo went drinking with some friends at a few clubs in the Orchard area. He ended up at the Naughty Girl Club in Orchard Towers with Tan, whom he knew as “Ah Boy”, after 5am.
Loo had known Tan for some three years before the incident. He was aware that Tan had some issues with the police, although he did not know specific details.
While at the club, a dispute arose between Loo’s group of friends and another group of patrons. Loo saw that Tan was armed with a kerambit knife in his right hand and had pointed it at the group of patrons.
In the ensuing dispute, two individuals were injured by Tan at the club entrance despite Loo’s attempt to stop the fight.
After someone shouted “police”, Loo took a lift to the ground floor of Orchard Towers to leave the place with his group, including Tan.
At the ground floor, the group encountered Satheesh, who confronted one member of Loo’s group over the earlier dispute.
Some other members of the group attacked Satheesh, and Tan allegedly inflicted a fatal injury on Satheesh’s head and neck area. Loo was not part of the attack.
The group then left the area. Loo knew that Satheesh had been critically injured and saw him collapsing at the entrance of the building.
Satheesh succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at about 7.25am the same day. He died from a stab wound to his neck.
Loo and several others, including Tan, went to Boon Lay market. Tan then went to Loo’s house to take a shower. Loo gave Tan a clean shirt, $50 for transport, and a pair of slippers. After Tan left, Loo walked around his flat to check that Tan had not left behind the knife. He threw Tan’s soiled shirt down the common rubbish chute and it was never recovered.
Loo later surrendered himself at Police Cantonment Complex after he was told that the incident had been classified as a murder case.
Separately, on 18 February last year, Loo also took part in a game of dice involving money at a flat in Jurong West.
The maximum punishment for obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice is a jail term of up to seven years along with a fine.
For his gambling offence, Loo could have been fined up to $5,000 and also jailed for up to six months.
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