49-year-old Xavier Yap Jung Houn, was previously charged with the murder of his twin sons, both 11 years old after their bodies were discovered in a canal near the playground along Greenridge Crescent at Upper Bukit Timah last year.
Yap has since had his murder charges reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder earlier today (28 February), according to Channel NewsAsia.
According to court documents, it was stated that Yap had strangled his twin sons, Yap Kai Shern Aston and Yap E Chern Ethan with the intention of causing their deaths.
His charges were amended after a report was released by the Institute of Mental Health, where Yap was found to have a moderate major depressive disorder at the time.
He appeared in court via a video link.
For culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Yap faces life imprisonment and caning, or up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine or caning if convicted.
His case has been adjourned for further mentions at the State Courts on 18 April.
Xavier Yap Jung Houn was charged in court on 24 January with murder following the death of his two 11-year-old twin sons.
The two boys’ bodies were found in a canal near the playground along Greenridge Crescent, at Upper Bukit Timah.
Yap appeared in court via a video link and his charges were then read out to him.
His lawyer, Mr Anil Singh Sandhu, said that the grieving family was still mourning the loss of the two young boys.
The police said on Saturday that they had received a call for help at about 6.25pm on 21 January from a man along Greenridge Crescent.
Police officers arrived and the man’s two 11-year-old sons were found lying motionless and subsequently pronounced dead by a paramedic.
The death of the two boys sparked the deployment of the police’s Gurkha and K-9 units, as they conducted a search in the forests near Toh Tuk Road, in Upper Bukit Timah.
The police then followed up on all the possible leads and investigations were conducted around the clock, Yap was then subsequently arrested by the police.
Special needs kids
A friend of the victims’ family said that the two 11-year-old boys who were found dead at a Greenridge Crescent playground were twins and special needs boys, according to Lianhe Zaobao
A 68-year-old resident told the Chinese media that the deceased’s mother drove to the scene upon receiving the news and remained in her car, appearing calm at the time.
She then started crying loudly after being joined by another woman who was a friend of the family.
The family friend told Lianhe Zaobao that the deceased twins were diagnosed with autism and hyperactivity disorder and that they were special needs children.
Zaobao also reported that the boys’ bodies were found inside a drain next to the playground.
Another resident spoke to 8 World News, saying that the deceased lived in the condominium nearby, which is about a 5 to 10 minute drive away from the park.
He also saw sandbags being places inside the drain by the police, apparently in an attempt to slow down the flow of water inside the canal.
Offerings were seen being left along the drain by loved ones.