Prosecution amends murder charge

Prosecution amends murder charge

A murder charge against a woman for causing the death of her 17-month-old son in the sea off East Coast Park has been amended to one of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Lim Ann Nee (photo) hugged friends and relatives who had turned up in court for her case yesterday after she was released on bail.

The 45-year-old, who is married to a Frenchman, has been in custody since November last year for the alleged murder of her son Emilien Lacroix. The toddler's body was found floating about 300m from Bedok Jetty while Lim was rescued by the Police Coast Guard in the waters off East Coast Park on Nov 25.

When Lim's case was mentioned yesterday, the prosecution tendered an amended charge. She was calm and composed when the charge was read to her.

Lim, whose case has been delisted from the High Court, is said to have caused the death of her son by carrying him into the sea off East Coast Park, and leaving him alone knowing that he was unable to swim.

The charge further states that the act was done when she knew that it was likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or such bodily injury as was likely to cause death.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lee asked for a pre-trial conference date.

Lim's husband, who is a Singapore permanent resident, stood bail for her at $30,000.

The bespectacled and long-haired woman was smiling when she met members of her family and close friends, numbering about 20. She was also seen crying.

She was initially remanded at Complex Medical Centre in Changi for psychiatric assessment which went on for more than a month. Psychiatrists found her not of sound mind at the time of the alleged offence. She is now fit to plead.

Lim's lawyer Anand Nalachandran told The Straits Times he was glad that the murder charge - which carries either death or life imprisonment upon conviction - has been amended, and that his client has been offered bail.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Sept 8.

The maximum penalty for culpable homicide is 10 years' jail, fine and caning. Men above 50 and women cannot be caned.

This article was first published on August 13, 2014.
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