A man who used a pen-shaped pinhole camera to recorded nine videos of his female flatmates showering was sentenced to 20 weeks in jail on Thursday (9 November).
Pyae Phyo Aung, a 32-year-old Myanmar national who is in Singapore on a student pass, pleaded guilty to three charges of insulting the modesty of a woman. Six other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The court heard that Pyae Phyo Aung had placed the camera in the corner of the bathroom on the second level of the rented flat in Choa Chua Kang Street 62 in October 2016.
According to a counselling report provided to the court by Pyae Phyo Aung’s lawyer T. M. Sinnadurai, his intention had been to “create memories” of his fiancee – who had stayed with him on several occasions – washing her feet in the bathroom.
But Pyae Phyo Aung kept the camera recordings even though he knew it would capture the actions of the flat’s other female tenants. It was unclear how many different women were recorded, as their faces were not captured in the video.
The videos, which were mentioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan, lasted between 70 seconds and over two minutes.
Pyae Phyo Aung, who was on a nine-month maritime course at Singapore Polytechnic, was caught on 27 October when one of tenant’s discovered that the pen in the bathroom had a green light.
She then handed the pen to the flat’s main tenant in the flat, who filed a police report together with Pyae Phyo Aung at the Choa Chu Kang Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC).
Pyae Phyo Aung initially denied that the pen belonged to him returned to the NPC later that night to confess to his actions. He also revealed that he had viewed the video clips captured by the pen camera on his laptop.
Sinnadurai said in Aung’s defence that his client initially denied ownership of the pen because one of the victims is his sister-in-law and he was afraid of her finding out what he had done.
“He came clean in the end and he was very co-operative with the police after that,” said Sinnadurai, who asked for just 10 weeks’ jail per charge, compared with the 12 weeks per charge the prosecution sought.
“He has proactively enrolled himself for counselling sessions to deal with his emotional troubles. He is very remorseful and we urge the court to impose a lenient sentence.”
Pyae Phyo Aung was also set to marry his fiancee in February next year, but had to postpone the wedding due to the case, which has caused friction between the two families, Sinnadurai added.
For insulting the modesty of a woman, Pyae Phyo Aung could have been jailed for up to one year and fined on each charge.
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