Dad Accused of Killing His 2 Sons at Greenridge Playground Has Murder Charges Reduced to Culpable Homicide


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On 21 January 2022, Xavier Yap Jung Houn’s 11-year-old twin sons were found dead in the vicinity of a canal at Greenridge Crescent Playground.

He had caused their deaths, and on 28 February 2023, his charge was reduced from murder to culpable homicide.

The charge sheets revealed that he had strangled them with the intention of causing their deaths.

Findings Of Psychiatric Assessment

Yap was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric assessment, where he was found to be suffering from Major Depressive Disorder of moderate severity when the offences were committed.

Because of this, his charges were amended to culpable homicide. 

Culpable homicide carries a different sentence from murder under Singapore law—murder is punishable by the death sentence or life imprisonment, while the punishment for culpable homicide does not include the death penalty, and instead either life imprisonment or a imprisonment of up to 20 years. 

Basically, culpable homicide is different in that the act of killing does not fall under the four situations for killing as listed in section 300 of the Penal Code relating to a murder charge. You can read more about the differences in this article about the River Valley case, where the boy had his charge reduced as well. 

More About The Case

In court, Yap was wearing glasses, a blue mask, and a white shirt. He appeared via video-link from the location he was remanded, and had noticeably lost weight.

He is defended by a team of four lawyers led by Mr Choo Si Sen, a change from his previous lawyer Anil Singh Sandhu. 

According to the prosecutor, the next High Court case conference would take place on 28 March, and the case is fixed for further mention in the State Courts on 18 April.

His sons, Yap Kai Shern Aston and Yap E Chern Ethan, had been found dead near the playground at Greenridge Crescent on 22 January, and their 48-year-old father Xavier Yap was arrested following it.

A 68-year-old resident of the area said that a floodlight, fire engine, and the police’s K-9 unit had been deployed at the scene to search the area. Gurkhas had been deployed as well. 

His twin sons reportedly had special needs, and attended school in the Eng Kong estate area.

Caregiver Stress: Reach Out For Support

Caregiver burnout is a genuine phenomenon—caring for people with special needs can be incredibly stressful.

Following the case, SG Enable, a government-linked agency providing services for people with disabilities, urged stressed caregivers of children with special needs to reach out and seek support and help.  


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They also expressed sadness over the incident, and called for caregivers to “look after their well-being” as well, since caring for special needs children could be “stressful” and caregivers may “face burnout or feel emotionally burdened”.

It also added that caregivers should stay connected with loved ones and reach out to social service agencies for help. The National Care Hotline (1800-202-6868) was also provided in the post.