Singapore—Natalie Siow, the lone woman allegedly involved the Orchard Towers murder early in July, could not hold back her tears upon hearing that the charge of murder against her had been reduced to one of assault.
It is, after all, a matter of life and death for Ms Siow and the six other people linked to the July 2 death of Satheesh Noel Gobidass at Orchard Towers.
A murder conviction could lead to the death penalty, while a person convicted on an assault charge could face two years in prison, as well as a fine of S$5,000.
The 23-year-old Ms Siow was charged with the murder of Ms Satheesh, along with Tan Hong Sheng, 22; Loo Boon Chong, 25; Tan Sen Yang, 28; and Joel Tan Yun Sheng, Chan Jia Xing and Ang Da Yuan, all of whom are 26 years old.
Court documents show that Ms Siow, and Messrs Tan Sen Yang, Joel Tan Yun Sheng and Ang kicked and punched Mr Satheesh at the time of his attack. The victim had also been stabbed and was later pronounced dead at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Ms Sow’s lawyer, by Mr Amarick Gill of Amarick Gill LLC, said on Friday, October 18, that she was “elated” at the reduced charge and that she burst into tears when he told her of the change.
He added, ”She is looking forward to going home to her family and will cooperate with the authorities as advised by me. I am grateful that the prosecution acceded to my representation. I feel this is the appropriate charge for Natalie.”
Netizens, however, have had mixed reactions to the reduction in Ms Siow’s charge from murder to assault.
A number of Singaporeans believe that Ms Siow had gotten fair treatment and that she deserved a second chance.
Others grieved and worried that no one would face the death penalty for the murder of Mr Satheesh.
Some netizens wondered if race had been an issue in changing Ms Siow’s charge.
Others expressed sorrow and compassion for the family the victim left behind, especially his wife and two children, and his parents.