Singapore

Confinement for man of unsound mind who killed father

A 46-year-old man of unsound mind was ordered to be confined at the President's pleasure yesterday after the High Court found that he had killed his 75-year-old father.

Justice Valerie Thean concluded that Tan Kok Meng, who was left alone for three hours with his father at their Bedok North flat, caused the death of the older man on Nov 13, 2015.

When Tan's mother returned to the flat to find her husband, Mr Tan Ah Hin, covered in blood, the gate was still padlocked and there was no sign of forced entry.

"No one else could have been responsible for (Mr Tan Ah Hin's) injuries, which were not accidental," said the judge.

Although Tan was found to have committed the act of killing, under the law, he was acquitted of murder owing to his mental incapacity.

Two psychiatrists from the Institute of Mental Health had diagnosed him with schizophrenia and found that he was of unsound mind during the killing.

'GRIEF TWICE OVER'

"This is grief twice over for the family and I would emphasise that this order is made in the context that Kok Meng has been acquitted of the offence charged," said the judge.

"The object the law seeks to fulfil by this order is the protection of society, and by the same means, the safety of the accused and his family.

"It is hoped these reasons bring some measure of closure to what I am sure is a painful chapter for the family."

The court heard that his family members had described Tan as "unstable" on the day of the offence.

Before his mother, Madam Toh Meow Siang, left the flat, she told her husband not to allow their son to go out.

About three hours later, she returned to find her husband breathing heavily, with his head in a pool of blood. Tan did not respond to her questions.

Madam Toh left the flat to get help from the neighbours. When she returned, she shouted at Tan, asking why he killed his father.

Tan then walked over to the older man, sat on his abdomen and placed his hands on his father's upper chest before she pulled him away.

An autopsy found the older Tan had died from strangulation and blood aspiration.

COURT & CRIME