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Orchard Towers fatal brawl: Jail, fine for man who discarded alleged killer’s blood-stained T-shirt

SINGAPORE — A 27-year-old man who discarded a blood-stained T-shirt left behind by the alleged murderer in the high-profile Orchard Towers brawl was on Friday (Jan 15) jailed five months and fined S$1,000.

Pieces of tissue paper soaked in blood seen at the entrance of Orchard Towers on July 2, 2019.

Pieces of tissue paper soaked in blood seen at the entrance of Orchard Towers on July 2, 2019.

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  • Loo Boon Chong was present during the brawl that left 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass dead
  • He later allowed Tan Sen Yang, who has been charged with murder, to shower and change at his flat
  • To avoid being implicated, Loo threw Tan’s blood-stained T-shirt into a rubbish chute


SINGAPORE — A 27-year-old man who discarded a blood-stained T-shirt left behind by the alleged murderer in the high-profile Orchard Towers brawl was on Friday (Jan 15) jailed five months and fined S$1,000.

Loo Boon Chong is the fifth person to be dealt with in court over the death of 31-year-old Satheesh Noel Gobidass on July 2, 2019.

Loo was present during the altercation that left Gobidass dead, but did not join the attack. 

He not only agreed to let Tan Sen Yang, who stands accused of murder, shower at his home. Loo also gave the man a fresh T-shirt and threw the blood-stained one down his housing block’s common rubbish chute after Tan left.

Tan is accused of carrying a foldable karambit — a small curved knife resembling a claw — at the Naughty Girl Club in Orchard Towers that morning in 2019. 

The 28-year-old is the only one who still faces a capital murder charge and his case is pending.

Seven individuals were initially accused of murder, but all of them — except Tan — had their charges reduced later.

Three have been put behind bars. The fourth, Chan Jia Xing, 27, was given a year-long conditional warning in October last year. This means he must remain crime-free for 12 months, or he can be prosecuted for the original crime.

Loo, a bartender, pleaded guilty last month to one charge of obstruction of justice by discarding Tan’s blood-stained T-shirt after the alleged murder. He also admitted to an unrelated charge of gambling in public. 

District Judge Ng Cheng Thiam considered a third charge of consorting with Tan when sentencing Loo.

The judge agreed with most of the prosecution’s submissions. Prosecutors called for a longer jail term of six months for the obstruction charge, whereas Loo’s lawyer Diana Ngiam sought two months’ jail.

District Judge Ng noted that Loo had been in remand for a short period before being released on bail and that he had surrendered himself to the police that evening.

WHAT HAPPENED

On July 2, 2019, Satheesh confronted the group over an earlier argument outside the nightclub.

During the confrontation, Tan swung his knife at everyone gathered at the entrance, slashing a security officer on the finger and another man on the face. 

He then allegedly slashed Satheesh with the knife around the lower jaw and neck. 

Video footage of the incident later went viral on social media. 

Loo saw Satheesh, whose face was bleeding, walk a few steps before collapsing. 

Knowing the victim had been grievously hurt, Loo ran out of Orchard Towers and boarded a cab with Tan Hong Sheng, one of the six who had their murder charges reduced. 

Loo eventually agreed to allow Tan Sen Yang into his home to shower, and the pair took another cab to Loo’s home. 

There, Loo noticed a patch of blood on the man’s white T-shirt and gave him a clean T-shirt.

After Tan Sen Yang left, Loo checked his home to ensure that the man had not left the karambit there. He then saw the blood-stained T-shirt in his bedroom.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Dora Tay said that Loo disposed of the T-shirt with the intention of obstructing the course of justice by preventing the police from finding it in his flat. He was also trying to avoid being implicated in Tan’s offence.

Later that day, Loo and Tan Hong Sheng surrendered themselves at the Police Cantonment Complex along New Bridge Road.

MOMENTARY LAPSE OF JUDGMENT

In mitigation, Ms Ngiam said that Loo was “somewhat scared and shocked” by the events and did not know how to deny Tan Sen Yang’s request to have a shower at his home.

“He was a 25-year-old boy, non-violent, who had just witnessed something very violent,” the lawyer said, adding that her client did not plan to discard the T-shirt.

“He fully accepts it was a wrong, momentary lapse of judgment on his part. He accepts jail time is necessary, but I urge Your Honour to be fair to this accused.”

As for the blood-stained T-shirt, Ms Ngiam urged District Judge Ng to consider its value against “a myriad of other evidence available”. 

She said that it was not critical for the authorities to have it to determine that Tan Sen Yang allegedly slashed Gobidass.

In response, DPP Ang Feng Qian said that Loo had consciously decided to look for evidence with the intention of getting rid of it, after walking around his flat to check if Tan Sen Yang left the karambit there.

For obstruction of justice, Loo could have been imprisoned for up to seven years or fined, or punished with both.

As for gambling in public, he could have been jailed up to six months or fined up to S$5,000, or received both penalties.

Related topics

orchard towers murder crime court

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