Ex-Maris Stella principal admits 9 CBT charges

Ex-Maris Stella principal admits 9 CBT charges

SINGAPORE - The court heard that between June 2004 and May 2009, he misappropriated funds from the school management committee to pay for a friend of the church, Mr Peter Lim, to go on overseas trips to China, Hong Kong, Australia, Thailand and Britain.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 22, 2014:

Judge dismisses ex-Maris Stella principal's appeal

By Selina Lum

SINGAPORE - Former Maris Stella High principal Anthony Tan Kim Hock, 67, was packed off to jail for five months yesterday after the High Court dismissed his appeal against his conviction and sentence for embezzlement.

Justice Chan Seng Onn also dismissed the prosecution's appeal to double Tan's jail term, saying that five months was "somewhat lenient" but not "manifestly inadequate".

Tan, dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt and dark trousers, appeared calm on hearing the verdict.

After the court session ended, he spoke briefly to three friends before he was led away, carrying a backpack, by guards.

However, this may not be the end of his legal woes. Tan, who had been out on bail of $60,000 pending the outcome of his appeal, still faces 20 other counts of criminal breach of trust for siphoning school funds.

A pre-trial conference will be held at a later date for him to indicate how he wants to plead to these charges.

Tan, the longest-serving principal of Maris Stella High, was earlier convicted on a single count of misappropriating $67,679.05 from the school's chapel building fund between March and September 2009.

Tan used this sum to pay for renovation work to Champagnat House, the official residence of his Catholic order, the Marist Brothers, in Flower Road near Kovan MRT station.

The money paid for granite surfacing on walls, stained glass windows and kitchen appliances.

Last June, Tan, who retired in 2009 after 25 years at Maris Stella, was sentenced to five months' jail by a district court.

Tan then appealed to overturn his conviction and sentence. The prosecution also appealed, pressing for 10 months' jail.

Yesterday, Justice Chan dismissed the appeals and upheld the district court's decision.

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