Funeral director who allegedly assisted ex-boyfriend in suicide wants to claim trial
A funeral director accused of helping her ex-boyfriend take his own life and lying to police said she intends to claim trial.
On Friday, Alverna Cher Sheue Pin, 40, appeared in court for a scheduled hearing where she was expected to plead guilty.
But the director and shareholder of City Funeral Singapore said she wants to claim trial to two charges of intentionally aiding Mr Wee Jun Xiang, 32, in his suicide, and obstructing the course of justice.
The single mother of two daughters also applied to change her lawyers from the team at Invictus Law to Mr Peter Ong Lip Cheng from Peter Ong Law Corporation.
She is out on bail of $100,000 and a pre-trial conference will be held next Friday.
Latest Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority records show she was recently appointed director of another company, Christian Funeral Singapore, in November 2022.
Cher is said to have helped Mr Wee take his own life by nitrogen gas inhalation at a multi-storey carpark at Block 145A, Bedok Reservoir Road on May 16, 2020.
That afternoon, she allegedly requested another man – identified in charge sheets as Cheo Oon Hui, Lawrence – to drive a van containing the used tank of nitrogen gas from the carpark.
According to charge sheets, she also lied to a police officer that Mr Wee told her that he experienced chest discomfort for two weeks before he died, and that she believed he died of a heart attack.
His body was found in the carpark at about 5.30pm on the day he took his life. Court documents do not disclose why he did so.
In an earlier statement, police said Cher became a suspect during investigations and was later arrested.
She was originally charged with a more serious offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December 2020.
Offenders convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder can face life in prison with caning, or up to 20 years’ jail and a fine or caning. Caning applies only to men below 50.
If convicted of intentionally aiding a person in suicide, Cher can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
The offence of obstructing the course of justice carries a maximum jail term of seven years, or with fine, or with both.
On a blogging site, Cher earlier said she was divorced from the father of her first child, and that the father of the other daughter was sentenced to jail shortly after she was born.
In the blog post published four days before Mr Wee’s body was found, she said she inherited a funeral business and debts from her younger daughter’s father.