An Australian man has pleaded guilty to hurling a wine bottle from his apartment at a group of Muslims having a dinner party that struck and killed a Singaporean man.
Australian Andrew Gosling he threw an empty wine bottle off his apartment balcony that hit 73-year-old delivery driver Nasiari Sunee on the head two floors down
Prosecutors say the August 2019 acts demonstrated religious hostility, but the defense say Mr Gosling’s judgment was impaired by alcohol
Mr Gosling faces a possible seven years in jail
Andrew Gosling is being tried in a Singapore court on a charge of committing a rash act that caused the death of 73-year-old delivery driver Nasiari Sunee in August 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to another charge of injuring Mr Nasiari’s wife.
Prosecutors said the acts demonstrated religious hostility, but the defense said Mr Gosling’s judgment was impaired by alcohol.
Mr Gosling, who had been in Singapore for a month, faces a possible seven years in jail.
They said Mr Gosling committed the offenses after seeing a dinner gathering of ethnic Malay Muslims from his apartment balcony.
He told police that he initially thought of using a weapon such as a gun to shoot at the group, but decided against it because he felt it would be a “heinous act.”
When he went to the rubbish chute on the seventh floor where he lived, he found an empty wine bottle and hurled it at the group two floors down, hitting Mr Nasiari on the head as he was about to eat at a relative’s house-warming party .
The bottle ricocheted off Mr Nasiari’s head and struck his wife, injuring her shoulder. Mr Nasiari received severe head injuries and died the next morning.
‘Hostile thoughts towards Muslims’
Mr Gosling fled after his act but surrendered to police 10 days later.
He told police that he threw the bottle to “startle” the group because he was angry over religiously motivated attacks on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2002 and a separate incident that took place in Melbourne in 2018.
“He fled the scene to evade detection, shouting crude, religiously charged vulgarities about Muslims.…. The rash act can not be viewed in isolation. It must be seen together with the religious aggravation,” Mr Kannan said, calling the action “outrageous, senseless and appalling. “
Prosecutors asked the court to sentence Mr Gosling to seven years’ imprisonment because the incident “has the wider impact of causing unease in Singapore, especially among the broader Muslim population, and threatens to engender public disquiet”.
About 15 per cent of Singapore’s nearly 6 million people are Muslim.
Defense lawyer N Sreenivasan cited a report by medical experts that found alcohol may have impaired Mr Gosling’s judgment.
Mr Gosling had consumed several beers earlier in the day.
The anti-Muslim thoughts “were obsessive negative thoughts which he was prone to when he was intoxicated and did not represent the accused’s true feelings or intentions,” Mr Sreenivasan cited the report as saying.
“What this meant was even if he had committed the offense, it was unlikely to be religiously motivated.”
The report said, however, that the amount of alcohol Mr Gosling consumed was within his usual limit and did not cause an unsound mind.
The court said sentencing would be held April 8.