SINGAPORE — After hearing voices in a female toilet, a man who worked in the Giant Hypermarket building at Tampines North entered the toilet to film women relieving themselves.
The man, Gabriel Lim Wei Hng, 28, was sentenced to seven weeks’ jail on Thursday (12 November) after he pleaded guilty to one count each of criminal trespass and insulting the modesty of a woman on 18 July last year. Four other charges, involving Lim filming females in the same toilet on other occasions, were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Lim, whose fiancee was present in court, presently works as an accounts executive at a travel company.
The court heard that Lim, a former administrative executive at Cold Storage, had just finished using a male toilet in the building when he heard voices coming from an adjacent female toilet. Two female employees, aged 24 and 25, then trainees working for another company, were relieving themselves at the time.
Lim was captured by CCTV entering the female toilet. He then turned on the recording function on his phone and held it above the door of the toilet cubicle in which the 25-year-old woman was in a state of undress. The victim noticed the phone and shouted, causing Lim to panic and flee from the toilet. He entered the male toilet and deleted evidence of his wrongdoing from his phone before returning to his office.
The two women reported the incident to the security office and recognised Lim as an employee working in the same building after watching the CCTV footage.
The prosecution urged District Judge Marvin Bay to impose an eight-week jail term for Lim, citing the recording device used by him, the degree of intrusion and that he had offended multiple times.
While noting that Lim had sought psychiatric help at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), his first session happened months after he was caught. Lim was detained on 18 July last year but had his first scheduled appointment with IMH on 31 March this year.
“This is not the case where the accused had immediately sought treatment at IMH or psychiatric services immediately after (being) detained, it was quite a significant number of months thereafter. We urge the court not to place too much weight on this,” said the prosecution.
The prosecution noted that there was no indication of Lim’s mental condition. Lim’s lawyer, Favian Kang, had earlier told the court that IMH was unable to issue a medical report for Lim at this point in time as it was focused on essential services during Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening.
Kang said that his client had committed the offence on the spur of the moment. “He realised he make a mistake and went to seek help, that is a sign of remorse,” he added.
The defence had sought to argue that there was a lesser degree of intrusion because the video was shot from top down, compared with from the bottom of the cubicle door.
However, DJ Bay said he was not convinced by the differentiation in how the video was shot. The judge noted that the charges demonstrated a more established modus operandi but accepted that Lim had sought psychiatric help after he offended.
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