Auditor jailed 10 weeks for taking upskirt videos at MRT stations

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
Newton MRT station, one of the spots where Matthew Lee Hui Guan took upskirt videos of women. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

For nearly two months, he preyed on unsuspecting women at MRT stations, filming upskirt videos of them when they used the escalator.

At the State Courts on Monday (20 November), Matthew Lee Hui Guan, 27, was jailed 10 weeks and fined $500 after pleading guilty to five charges of insulting a woman’s modesty and one charge of possessing an obscene film. Thirteen other charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Lee, an auditor, committed the offences between 1 February and 22 March this year. The court heard that Lee first had the idea of taking upskirt videos in February when he noticed a “hot girl” at Beauty World MRT station and became curious as to what she was wearing under her skirt.

On 22 March, Lee cut in front of a commuter on the escalator at Newton MRT and held out his left hand in an awkward position to film the woman in front of him. The commuter behind him noticed that he was filming an upskirt video and notified the station staff, who detained Lee and called the police.

Altogether, Lee filmed upskirt videos of women at Newton, Little India, Beauty World, Telok Blangah and Bugis MRT stations. After police seized Lee’s computer, they found 47 videos which were either voyeuristic, uncensored or obscene in nature.

Public should feel safe at MRT stations: DPP

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chee Ee Ling asked for at least five weeks’ jail on each charge and a fine for the obscene film.

DPP Chee said that such offences were hard to detect, and there were multiple victims involved. Most of these offences were committed in MRT stations where the public is supposed to feel safe and secure, she said.

In mitigation, Lee’s lawyer Amarjit Singh asked the court for leniency, saying it was Lee’s first brush with the law. He added that Lee is undergoing psychiatric treatment at the National University Hospital – a sign of his “conscious efforts towards rehabilitation and reformation”.

Lee will also continue his treatment after he is released from prison, said Singh, who asked for a term of two weeks’ jail per charge. Singh pointed out that Lee wrote a letter of apology to his victims expressing his remorse, and said that the case was “devoid of premeditation and sophistication”.

District Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong agreed with the prosecution, saying that commuters should feel safe using escalators, while also noting that there had been an increase in upskirt offences.

After passing the sentence, District Judge Ow Yong encouraged Lee to continue his treatment in order not to reoffend. For insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, Lee could have been jailed for up to two years, fined or both.

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