Man linked to Orchard Towers murder given conditional warning
First, his murder charge was withdrawn and he was charged instead with consorting with a person in possession of a dangerous weapon.
Yesterday, in another twist to the case, 27-year-old Chan Jia Xing walked out of court with a 12-month conditional warning.
Mr Chan was one of the seven people initially charged with the murder of Mr Satheesh Noel Gobidass at Orchard Towers in July last year.
Yesterday, he became the first of the group to escape jail time.
District Judge Ng Cheng Thiam granted him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, and as part of the conditions of his warning, Mr Chan must remain crime-free for a year.
If he commits another crime during this period, he may be prosecuted again for his original offence, as well as the new one.
The warning does not amount to conviction or a finding of guilt and leaves no criminal record.
Speaking to reporters outside the State Courts yesterday, Mr Chan, who is expecting a baby boy next month, said he had worried about the outcome of the case and is now just looking forward to finding a proper job.
He added: "My parents encouraged me to be strong and not to do stupid things."
Asked if he could stay out of trouble, he said: "I definitely will. For the rest of my life."
His lawyers, Mr Cory Wong and Mr Shane Yeo from Invictus Law Corporation, said the outcome was a fair one.
Said Mr Yeo: "It is also a great relief for our client."
Mr Chan is the fourth person to be dealt with in connection with the fatal brawl on July 2 last year. Of the group of seven, Tan Sen Yang, 28, is the only one still facing a murder charge.
He is alleged to have had a foldable kerambit knife in his possession on the day of the attack, and is said to have used it to slash Mr Satheesh, 31, after scuffles broke out between two groups.
Mr Satheesh was pronounced dead at Tan Tock Seng Hospital around 7.30am that day.
Joel Tan Yun Sheng, Ang Da Yuan, both 26, and Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 24, had their murder charges reduced to assault. All three have been convicted.
Joel Tan was jailed for four weeks, Ang was jailed for eight months and given six strokes of the cane, and Siow was jailed for five months.
Tan Hong Sheng, 23, and Loo Boon Chong, 26, each face a reduced charge of consorting with Tan Sen Yang and their cases are pending.
If convicted, they can be jailed for up to three years and get at least six strokes of the cane.
If Tan Sen Yang is convicted of murder, he faces the death penalty.