Dad attacked me, said son who choked him
A BUSINESSMAN on trial for the manslaughter of his father told a court yesterday that the latter had accused him of stealing money, and then attacked him.
Unknown to his father, Mark Tan Peng Liat had been withdrawing up to $5,000 each time from a joint bank account, for five to six years.
Tan Kok Seng, who was 67, died on Feb 10 last year after his son applied a headlock and a chokehold over his neck region.
Mark Tan, 30, is accused of doing those acts knowing that they would likely cause death.
He was initially charged with murder but it was later reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Yesterday, he took the stand. While driving in his car at around 3pm to 4pm on Feb 10 last year, he got a call from his father, who accused him of stealing money, he testified.
He went home to find his father enraged in the master bedroom, on the second floor of a semi-detached house in West Coast Rise. The latter lunged at him and threw a punch but he blocked it.
The two then grappled.
It was the first time that the two, whom relatives said shared a close relationship, had physically fought.
The father walked backwards towards the bathroom while trying to punch, kick and elbow his son.
Inside the slippery bathroom, things got "chaotic", Mark Tan said. His spectacles flew off and he tried to get a grip on his topless father to subdue him, even holding on to his head at one point.
Both men then fell to the floor and the son applied a headlock.
Shortly after, when things appeared to have calmed down, Mark Tan said he left the bathroom.
But his father got back up and tried to attack him in the master bedroom.
He wrapped his right arm around his father's neck, from behind. He also pressed his left hand on his father's upper chest, near the collarbone.
He was afraid that his father would take the fight out of the bedroom. Mark Tan said he collected swords and he kept about six to nine of them around the house.
The two men fell near the bedroom door, with his father on top of him. Shortly after, Mark Tan went to find his spectacles in the toilet and then went out of the house.
Later, he called an ambulance, then went up to the master bedroom where he saw his father lying motionless on the floor, with his mouth open.
He tried to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation while waiting for paramedics.
Asked by his lawyer Derek Kang if he intended to harm his father, he said: "I didn't even want to hurt his feelings. I just wanted to stop him."
If convicted of manslaughter, he faces up to 10 years in jail, a fine, caning or any combined punishment.
The trial continues today.