A 43-year old man in Singapore is facing the charge of murder in a case dating back to 2015. However, this is not a straightforward homicide case. The accused happens to be someone suffering from a serious mental illness called schizophrenia and has been declared to be of 'unsound mind' by psychiatric examiners. The trial began today.
Tan Kok Meng is currently 46-years old. His father was 75 when he died in November 2015. Meng was living with his parents in their flat located in eastern part of Singapore. The mother of the accused and wife of the victim, known only as Madam Toh, is the prime witness in the case. It was she who discovered her husband lying on the floor, amidst his own blood when she returned to the flat on the day of the incident.
Both the prosecution and the defence are in agreement over the unstable mental condition of the accused. As a result, the prosecution is asking for the 43-year old to be kept in safe custody till an order can be issued for him to be shifted to a psychiatric facility. Tan was deemed of 'unsound mind' in 2016 but has also been accepted as capable of defending himself. He is currently placed in detention at Changi Medical Complex.
The accused was known to be mentally unstable and that's why Mdm Toh felt uncomfortable in leaving her husband with him. But she had to run an errand on November 13, 2015 and left their flat at around 2:30 PM. She was aware that her soon looked worse off on that day than was normally the case.
She returned close to three hours later to a gory and grisly site. Her husband was lying unconscious on the floor with his own blood splattered around him. But he was still alive and Mdm Toh asked for help from her neighbors. They too saw Tan covered with blood himself, sitting on the sofa.
When the paramedics arrived, the father of Tan was in a precarious condition but still alive. Zaneta Lee, the main paramedic, examined the body of the victim and found it with severe wounds on the head and around eyes. The biggest problem was his partially blocked airway which caused him to breathe with difficulty and make noises akin to snoring.
Lee put a device into the airway of the victim to allow for clear passage of air. But, at this stage, Tan again attacked his father by sitting on his abdomen and started strangling his throat with both hands. The paramedics tried to stop him but he didn't relent. When the police arrived, they immediately arrested the accused and took him away.
But it was too late to save the father as he eventually succumbed to his injuries. The cause of death was announced to be 'strangulation and aspiration of blood.' Tan, now in the custody of the police but still not coherent, only managed to say that he and his father didn't get along well and after an argument, he assaulted him.
Two psychiatrists evaluated the accused and he was declared to be of 'unsound mind.' What made the situation worse for him was the fact that he had taken methamphetamine, or meth, as it is colloquially called, that made him even more unstable.