Dad charged with murder

The father of the 11-year-old twin boys who were found dead in a canal in Upper Bukit Timah has been charged with murder.

Yesterday, Xavier Yap Jung Houn, 48, appeared before a district court via video link to have one charge read out to him.

He is accused of murdering his sons Ethan and Ashton Yap at the covered canal at the Greenridge Crescent playground on Jan 21 between 4.23pm and 6.25pm.

Yap listened to the proceedings without expression.

The police prosecutor asked for Yap to be remanded for one week with permission to be taken out for investigations, including scene visits.

Only one charge was tendered in court yesterday morning.

The offence of murder carries the death penalty.

Yap’s lawyer Anil Singh Sandhu told the court that the family was grieving the loss of the two young children.

He said: “The media is present this morning in court and the victims here are two young children aged 11.

“(Over) the past few days, the media has been quite active in reporting this matter, but I’m sincerely urging the media to give the family some space and privacy to deal with the loss of two young children.”

On Saturday, the police said they had received a call at about 6.25pm on Friday from a man asking for help at the playground.

When officers arrived, the man’s two sons were found lying motionless nearby.

They were pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.

The twins were said to have special needs and were believed to be students of a school in the Eng Kong estate area.

Yap’s case will be mentioned in court again on Jan 31.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the twins were taken to the undertaker yesterday afternoon.

At about 2pm, the boys’ older sister was seen arriving at the mortuary at Singapore General Hospital.

Fong Chun Cheong, the funeral director handling the twins’ funeral arrangements, said they would be cremated later yesterday.

Fong, who said he was a family friend, added: “The family is still in shock and unable to accept this reality.”

He added that the twins’ parents were “good and well-respected people”. — The Straits Times/ANN

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