Singapore—The charge against Andrew Gosling, the Australian national charged with the death of a senior citizen when he threw a wine bottle from his high-rise has been elevated to a more serious one. He is now facing one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with an instrument, and as such, could find himself caned or made to pay a fine, if convicted, along with a jail sentence of as much as 15 years.
The 47-year-old Australian had originally been charged with one count of causing death by performing a rash act. The penalty for this offense is a five-year prison sentence as well as a fine.
Mr Gosling appeared in court on September 21.
He apparently threw the wine bottle from the seventh story of his building “knowing it to be likely” that he could cause grievous harm to someone.
Mr Gosling, who had been in the country for less than one month at the time of the incident, reportedly got into an argument on August 18th before he threw the bottle of Polissena Il Boro 2016 wine from his seventh-storey balcony, which hit the head of 73-year-old grandfather of nine, Nasiari Sunee, who was sitting with his family in the barbecue area of his housing block, about to eat dinner.
This occurred around 8:30 in the evening, when Mr Nasiari, a delivery driver, was sitting around a table with his family at the housewarming party of a relative, where they were all just about to have dinner.
The wine bottle reportedly hit the senior citizen in the head, causing him to suffer a fracture to the skull, which eventually led to his demise.
Mr Nasiari’s oldest son told The Straits Times (ST) that the family heard the sound of two thuds, and then Mr Nasiari fell on the ground with a wound on his head. Afterward, they saw the wine bottle.
The elderly man suffered multiple cardiac failures and eventually died the hospital the following day.
However, it took 10 days before Mr Gosling surrendered himself to the police after the police had already combed through the housing block, talking to its occupants and asking for fingerprints.
Two weeks ago, Mr Gosling’s lawyer, Gloria James, said that the throwing of the bottle had been an “act of mischief” on Mr Gosling’s part, and that he was planning on pleading guilty. She also said then that she is talking with the prosecutors on the case to reduce the charges to causing death by negligent act.
Ms James also said she hoped he would be allowed to go back to Australia while he waited for his trial, but that would be contingent on the judge’s decision as to whether or not he is a flight risk.
Ms James was uncertain of the reason why he waited so long until he turned himself over to the police. “I believe he did not realise the severity [of what happened], perhaps he was not aware until fingerprints were being taken from residents. Perhaps he was just fearful and had no one to turn to as he was alone in Singapore.”/ TISG