Son allegedly killed dad in chokehold and headlock
Forensic pathologist says autopsy of man allegedly killed by son at West Coast Rise shows:
So much force was applied to the victim's neck that it fractured his thyroid cartilage near the Adam's apple.
Health Sciences Authority forensic pathologist Lee Chin Thye said the autopsy of Mr Tan Kok Keng, 67, revealed other internal injuries to his neck, including a haemorrhage above his right jaw.
He might have died from manual compression to his neck, Dr Lee told a court yesterday.
Mr Tan's son Mark Tan Peng Liat, 30, a businessman, is on trial for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
He is accused of killing his father in their West Coast Rise semi-detached home at around 5.30pm on Feb 10 last year.
He allegedly restrained Mr Tan in a headlock and chokehold, resulting in his father's death.
Tan, who was originally charged with murder on Feb 12 last year, is also accused of having 15 airsoft guns without a licence.
Dr Lee said Mr Tan had 31 external injuries including bruises on his neck, forehead and limbs. He also had wounds near his right eye, lower back and upper chest.
He told District Judge Eddy Tham that a "significant amount of force" was applied to Mr Tan's neck, and the injuries could not have been inflicted in a short period of assault or struggle.
"Many of these injuries are over vulnerable areas, exposed areas, prominent areas, where injuries can be sustained when one is struggling - either by knocking over objects, knocking against parts of the wall, or on the floor," he said.
The autopsy also revealed that Mr Tan had an enlarged heart - indicative of hypertensive heart disease. This condition could have hastened his death, said Dr Lee.
Tan sat still in the dock during the four-hour hearing yesterday.
He remained expressionless even when Dr Lee read out his father's many injuries.
His father's blood and DNA were found on his polo shirt and bermudas.
Senior investigation officer, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Tan Boon Kok, testified that the polo shirt had been retrieved from a laundry basket in Tan's bedroom.
It had traces of his father's blood.
The bermudas, however, had traces of blood belonging to both father and son.
An ambulance took Mr Tan to the National University Hospital.
ASP Tan said Mr Tan did not have a pulse, and did not respond to resuscitative measures. He was pronounced dead at around 6.50pm that day.
Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist Jaydip Sarkar examined Tan and found that he did not have any mental disorders.
ASP Tan also told Judge Tham that Tan was found fit to stand trial.
He added that Mr Tan's Indonesian maid, Ms Sumarti Dwi Ambarwati, who had worked for him for more than 10 years, was in the house at the time of the incident.
She has since returned to Indonesia, and could not be traced even after Singapore police sought Interpol's help.
If convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Tan can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined or caned. The trial continues today.
THE NEW PAPER, FEB 12, 2015