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Orchard Towers fatal brawl: Man pleads guilty to discarding alleged killer’s blood-stained T-shirt

SINGAPORE — One of seven individuals charged over the high-profile Orchard Towers brawl last year, which left a 31-year-old man dead, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice on Monday (Dec 14).

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

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

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

 

SINGAPORE — One of seven individuals charged over the high-profile Orchard Towers brawl last year, which left a 31-year-old man dead, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice on Monday (Dec 14).

Loo Boon Chong, 27, was the fifth person to admit to his involvement in Satheesh Noel Gobidass’ death on July 2 last year.

Three others have been sentenced to jail terms, while the fourth — Chan Jia Xing, 27 — was given a year-long conditional warning in October.

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

A third charge of consorting with Tan Sen Yang, who allegedly had an offensive weapon that morning, will be taken into consideration for sentencing on Jan 15 next year.

Tan Sen Yang is accused of carrying a foldable karambit — a small curved knife resembling a claw — at Naughty Girl Club in Orchard Towers.

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

All seven individuals were initially charged with murder but everyone else, including Loo, had their charges downgraded.

The seventh person — Tan Hong Sheng, 22 — was initially set to plead guilty on Monday. His case was similarly adjourned to Jan 15 next year. 

HOW IT BEGAN

The court heard some new details about what happened after the fatal altercation. 

Satheesh had confronted the group over an earlier argument outside the nightclub.

Secret society slogans were exchanged between the accused persons’ group and Satheesh’s group.

During the confrontation, Tan Sen Yang swung his knife at everyone gathered at the entrance, slashing one of the security officers on the finger and another man on the face. 

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

A video footage of the incident later went viral on social media, showing a man collapsing near an escalator in the building after a brawl, prompting onlookers to rush forward to check on him. 

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

Knowing the victim had been grievously injured by Tan Sen Yang, Loo ran out of Orchard Towers and boarded a taxi with the alleged killer and Tan Hong Sheng, prosecutors told the court.

Loo had known Tan Sen Yang for about three years and was aware that the other man had some issues with the police but did not know the details.

WENT TO LOO’S HOME TO SHOWER

The group told the taxi driver to drive to Boon Lay Place Market, which was a place that Loo and Tan Hong Sheng frequented.

A while later, they left the market. Loo agreed to let Tan Sen Yang go to his home to shower.

The pair took another taxi to Loo’s home where he noticed a patch of blood on the other man’s white T-shirt. 

Loo then gave him a new T-shirt to wear.

Before he left, Loo handed him S$50 cash for transport and a pair of slippers at his request.

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

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dora Tay told the court: “Intending to obstruct the course of justice by preventing the police from finding Tan’s blood-stained white T-shirt in his house and to try to avoid being implicated in Tan’s offence, the accused brought the T-shirt out of his house, and discarded it down the common rubbish chute along the corridor.” 

Later that same day, Loo and Tan Hong Sheng surrendered themselves at Police Cantonment Complex.

Tan Sen Yang’s shirt was not retrieved by the police.

Separately, while out on bail, Loo illegally took part in a public gambling game known to him as “Pasar Malam” (wet market) on Feb 18 this year.

He was caught playing the dice game with five others in Jurong West. 

For obstruction of justice, Loo could be jailed up to seven years or fined, or receive both penalties.

For gaming in public, he could be jailed up to six months or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

Related topics

orchard towers murder court crime

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