Man jailed 1 year for causing father’s death by holding him in chokehold
Mark Tan Peng Liat outside court. (Photo: Robin Choo/TODAY)
SINGAPORE: A 31-year-old man who held his father in a chokehold until he passed out and died was sentenced to a year’s jail on Thursday (Aug 24) for causing death by a rash act. Mark Tan Peng Liat was also fined S$5,000 for the illegal possession of 13 air-pistols.Tan was accused of murder following his 67-year-old father’s death on Feb 10, 2015.By the time he went on trial in July 2016, the charge had been reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.After a nine-day trial, District Judge Eddy Tham said the prosecution had not proven its case – that Tan knew holding his father in a chokehold would kill him - beyond a reasonable doubt.Instead, Judge Tham convicted Tan of a reduced charge of causing death by a rash act, saying there is “no doubt” Tan had only wanted to restrain, not harm, his father.
The pair had been arguing about money at their home at West Coast Rise when Tan’s father punched him. In response, Tan put his father in a chokehold.The men ended up scuffling on the floor until Tan held his father in a chokehold again.When the older man had passed out, Tan got up and walked away, leaving his father lying on the floor.Tan called the police and accompanied his father in an ambulance to hospital.
An autopsy report stated the elder Tan had died due to “manual compression of the neck with contributory cause of hypertensive heart disease”.Thirty-one injuries consistent with a struggle were found on the father’s body, including evidence that “a significant amount of force” had been applied to the neck region, cutting off oxygen supply to the brain. For causing death by a rash act, Tan could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.His lawyer said Tan intends to lodge an appeal against the conviction and sentence. The prosecution has also filed an appeal against the judge’s decision to convict Tan of causing death by a rash act instead of culpable homicide. They are also appealing against the one-year sentence meted out.