Killer drove all over S’pore to dispose of body
Derivatives dealer is jailed 12 years & six months for killing flatmate whose death she tried to cover up with an elaborately weaved story
The two women lived together and had an intimate relationship in 2010.
Then, on May 26, 2011, one killed the other after they celebrated the victim's 36th birthday with friends.
Ms Celine Ng Swee Peng's skeletonised remains were discovered only 40 days later in Clementi Woods, where derivatives dealer Ang Soo Hoon had dumped her body.
Yesterday, the slim and boyish-looking Ang, now 40, was jailed for 12 years and six months after pleading guilty to one count each of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, dishonest misappropriation of property and giving false information to a public servant.
Two other charges - failing to report Ms Ng's death and moving her body without reasonable excuse - were taken into consideration during sentencing.
There were no witnesses to the crime and the bizarre circumstances leading to the homicide, the attempted cover-up and disposal of the body are based on Ang's confession to the police.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) David Khoo told the court that Ang, Ms Ng, a property agent, and three friends went to the Lantern Bar in the Fullerton Bay Hotel at around 10pm on May 25 to celebrate Ms Ng's birthday.
They then went back to Ms Ng's apartment at West Bay condominium on West Coast Crescent for more drinks. The friends left at 4am the next day.
Ang claimed that Ms Ng became upset when her calls to a former lesbian lover went unanswered.
She asked Ang if she was her best friend and if Ang would do anything for her. Ang said that she would.
DPP Khoo said that Ang claimed Ms Ng then asked her "to help her die", but she declined because "she did not know how to do so".
"(Ms Ng) took a red dumbbell and attempted to hit her own head with it, but the accused managed to grab (it) away," he added.
As they struggled, Ms Ng asked Ang to smother her with a pillow. Ang agreed, but was unsuccessful because Ms Ng pushed away the pillow.
When Ms Ng called her "useless", Ang became furious and wrapped her right arm around Ms Ng's neck to strangle her.
For someone who wanted to die, Ms Ng put up a big fight, kicking and grabbing Ang's right arm.
But Ang would not let go. Instead, she applied extra force and used her body weight to tighten her lock on Ms Ng's neck.
She released her grip only after she got tired. By then, Ms Ng was "unresponsive and had stopped breathing", said DPP Khoo.
THE COVER-UP PART 1
Later that day, Ang told Ms Ng's mother, Madam Chua Beng Lau, over the phone that her daughter had gone out before she woke up.
She decided to cover up the homicide. To make it appear that Ms Ng had gone on an overseas trip, she took her friend's passport, packed an overnight bag and threw it down a rubbish chute.
Were it not under such tragic circumstances, Ang's attempt to dispose of her flatmate's body might have come across as a comedy of errors.
She tried to lift Ms Ng's body, but found it was too heavy.
So she took a trolley from Ms Ng's car, but realised people could see the body in the trolley.
She tried to place the body inside a cardboard box, but could not fit the legs in.
After the box tore, she took a $1,000 note from a pouch in Ms Ng's cupboard and went to the National University Hospital to buy a wheelchair.
DPP Khoo said that she did not use her credit card or ATM machine because she did not want the purchase to be traced.
That evening, she tried to place the body in the wheelchair, but her attempt ended with both her and the body falling to the floor.
Ang then had dinner before trying again. This time, she succeeded and put a pair of shoes on Ms Ng's feet.
At 3am the next day, she pushed the wheelchair to Ms Ng's car at the condo carpark and moved the body to the back seat. She covered the face with Ms Ng's jacket before driving off.
Ang said she went to the West Coast area, the East Coast area and Changi in search of a suitable dumping place. When she got to Changi, it was daylight and she was worried about being seen.
She went back to East Coast, where she fell asleep in a carpark.
When she woke up at 10am, she drove around and ended up at the Tanah Merah area and Sentosa before returning to East Coast.
She went back to West Bay condo, parked the car and went to Ms Ng's unit to rest before going back to East Coast Park, then to Sentosa Cove and back again to East Coast Park.
By then, it was dark, but she still could not find a place to dump the body. As she headed back west, she passed a forested area off Clementi Road past midnight and decided to dump the body there.
The area Ang decided on was Clementi Woods Park, just across West Coast Road from West Bay condo.
After drinking a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop, Ang went back to the area, dragged the body down a slope and left it near a wall of plants. She covered it with some leaves and plants.
Later that day, she dropped the wheelchair off at an elder care home in Balestier.
THE COVER-UP PART 2
That night, she went to West Coast Neighbourhood Police Post with Madam Chua and her son to report Ms Ng's disappearance.
Ang lied to Corporal Muhammad Nazri Parjali: "On (May 26, 2011), Celine looks moody and told me that she intends to go overseas but she never mentions which country. I then went to sleep at 4am and that was the last time I (saw) her."
After this report was made, the police conducted checks at places including the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, all major hospitals and mortuaries.
Acting on intelligence obtained, the police, with help from the Gurkha Contingent (GC), search the forested area around the National University of Singapore and Clementi Woods from June 28.
On July 5, GC trekkers found human skeletal remains and analysis by the Health Sciences Authority showed they were Ms Ng's.
The cause of death could not be determined because of the advanced state of decomposition.
The police arrested Ang on July 11 and she confessed to killing Ms Ng.
In his submissions, DPP Khoo told Justice Tay Yong Kwang that Ms Ng was at the "prime of her life" when she was killed.
He said: "Police interviews with her close friends and family reveal that she was a cheerful and jovial person who had not revealed any signs of suicidal tendencies."
Pressing for 13 years' jail, he added that after killing her, Ang had "proceeded to weave an elaborate web of lies to cover up the offence".
Ang's lawyer, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, urged the court to sentence her to around 10 years' jail.
In mitigation, he said the incident was "a massive departure" of Ang's character.
Quoting testimonies from her loved ones, he said that she is a caring, kind and gentle person.
For culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Ang could have been jailed for life.