Tan Koon Swan v Public Prosecutor

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date16 October 1986
Neutral Citation[1986] SGCA 12
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No 16
Date16 October 1986
Year1986
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselM Karthigesu (Cooma, Lau & Loh & M Karthigesu)
Citation[1986] SGCA 12
Defendant CounselGlenn Knight (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
Subject MatterRelevant considerations,Principles,Review of sentence on appeal,Sentencing,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Criminal breach of trust,ss 109 & 406 Penal Code (Cap 224)

This is an appeal against the sentence imposed by Lai Kew Chai J on a plea of guilty by the appellant to a charge of abetting a director of a public listed company, Pan Electric Industries (Pan-El), who was also a director of other companies which are subsidiaries of Pan El in the commission of the offence of criminal breach of trust. The charge related to breach of trust in respect of $144,852.88 which was the interest due to a stockbroking company in connection with the acquisition of three million Grand United Holdings Ltd (GUH) shares for $4,778,895 by a Pan El subsidiary Orchard Hotel (S).

The sentence imposed on the appellant was one of two years` imprisonment and a fine of $500,000; the maximum sentence permissible under the law was one of three years` imprisonment and, so far as the fine is concerned, unlimited.


First, it is appropriate to state the principles upon which this court, as an appellate court, should act when considering an appeal as to the sentence imposed by a trial court.
It is axiomatic that each case depends on its own facts. It is also an elementary principle that an appellate court can and will interfere if the sentence imposed was not justified by law. Mr Knight has referred us to a passage in Archbold, which we accept, setting out the principles upon which an appellate court acts.

One principle is that the court can interfere if it is satisfied that the sentencing judge has made the wrong decision as to the proper factual basis for sentence.
In relation to this principle, it has not been shown to our satisfaction by Mr Karthigesu, who has related in detail the facts which were put before Lai Kew Chai J that he imposed the sentence on a basis other than the proper factual basis. It is to be observed that the facts set out in the statement of facts which was read out to the learned judge were unequivocably accepted by the appellant.

Another principle is that the court can interfere where it is satisfied that there has been an error on the part of the trial judge in appreciating the material placed before him.
The judgment of the trial judge sets out fully, and in our opinion, accurately, the background facts which led to the charge against the appellant, which was a misuse of Pan El funds in circumstances which amounted to criminal breach of trust. The funds were used to create an artificial price for the shares of GUH. It was accepted by the learned judge that it was done for the personal benefit of the appellant.

It
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58 cases
  • Public Prosecutor v Mohammed Liton Mohammed Syeed Mallik
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 31 October 2007
    ...82 Notwithstanding the discretionary nature of the sentencing process, it has also been established in cases such as Tan Koon Swan v PP [1986] SLR 126 and PP v Cheong Hock Lai [2004] 3 SLR 203 that an appellate court will nonetheless correct sentences in the following (a) where the sentenci......
  • Lim Poh Tee v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 7 February 2001
    ... ... An appellate court however, would only interfere with the sentence imposed by the lower court based on the principles in Tan Koon Swan v PP [1986] SLR 126 [1987] 2 MLJ 129 ... In my view, the sentence of two and a half years` imprisonment could hardly be described as being ... ...
  • Tan Sai Tiang v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 10 January 2000
    ... ... Appropriateness of the sentence ... It is well-settled, on the authority of Tan Koon Swan v PP [1986] SLR 126 [1987] 2 MLJ 129 , that the appellate court can and will interfere in a sentence imposed by the lower court if it is ... ...
  • Lim Teck Chye v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 14 April 2004
    ...him; (c) the sentence was wrong in principle; or (d) the sentence imposed was manifestly excessive or inadequate: Tan Koon Swan v PP [1986] SLR 126, Lim Poh Tee v PP [2001] 1 SLR 674. The appellant argued that the sentences passed by the district judge were in breach of limbs (c) and/or (d)......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 books & journal articles
  • REVISITING THE HIGH COURT’S REVISIONARY JURISDICTION TO ENHANCE SENTENCES IN CRIMINAL CASES
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2009, December 2009
    • 1 December 2009
    ...an appeal, is perceived to be in a better position to understand the basis upon which a sentence is imposed by the subordinate court. 60 [1986] SLR 126. 61 This does not mean, as pointed out by Professor Tan Yock Lin in Criminal Procedure vol 2 (Butterworths Asia, 2008) at para 4201 that th......
  • Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencing
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2003, December 2003
    • 1 December 2003
    ...Lee Kwang Peng v PP[1997] 3 SLR 278). SENTENCING Reduction of sentence when it is not manifestly excessive 11.92 In Tan Koon Swan v PP[1986] SLR 126, the Court of Appeal held that an appellate court will only interfere with a sentence if: (a) The sentencing judge has made the wrong decision......
  • Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencing
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2005, December 2005
    • 1 December 2005
    ...from six weeks to two months” imprisonment would not show that the original sentence was manifestly inadequate: see Tan Koon Swan v PP[1986] SLR 126. The High Court also distinguished Lim Henry v PP on the basis that the said case involved an accused in a higher position of trust, who did n......
  • WHITE-COLLAR CRIME IN SINGAPORE
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2009, December 2009
    • 1 December 2009
    ...28 [2002] 4 SLR 887 at [22]. 29 According to the official MAS consumer price index inflation calculator (accessed 2 February 2009). 30 [1986] SLR 126; [1986] SLR 401. 31 [2004] SGHC 68. 32 As there is no reported judgment of the Nick Leeson case in the official reports, the account of this ......

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