Man jailed for filming family members bathing and colleagues in toilet

Suhaile Md
Reporter
Singapore state courts (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

He filmed four of his family members bathing using a pinhole camera in the shape of a clothes hanger. He also took upskirt videos of his colleagues and videos of them in the toilet using a mobile phone.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the victims’ identities, pleaded guilty to various offences in the State Courts on Thursday (14 June). He admitted to 12 charges in total – 10 of insulting the modesty of women, one charge of wrongful restraint, and one charge of possessing obscene films – and was sentenced to nine months and one week’s jail.

Twenty-eight other charges of insulting modesty, criminal trespass, and possessing obscene films were taken into consideration.

Of the 11 identified victims, seven were his colleagues. A number of the victims were unknown. The court documents didn’t specify the relationships between the man and his family members.

The man committed the offences between October 2010 and December 2016.

On 2 December 2016, the man had followed a female colleague into the toilet and took a video of her easing herself in a cubicle, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Gail Wong told the court.

The victim noticed a handphone hovering under the partition between her cubicle and the next one. She shouted out in shock, dressed up, and tried to enter the next cubicle which was locked.

She waited outside the toilet and when the culprit appeared, she realised it was her colleague. As she turned to return to the office, the man held onto her wrists to prevent her from reporting him.

The victim tried to take his handphone from him and in the ensuing struggle, the victim had some scratches on her wrist and forearm. The man handed his phone over after the victim said she would shout for help.

The man immediately went home and started deleting his videos that he had taken of his victims. The company’s human resources deputy director lodged a police report that night.

Four days later, the police raided the man’s house and recovered 31 video clips taken by the man. The police also found 94 obscene films, which were not taken by him, on his desktop computer in his house.

While the man did not upload the videos online, he had used the videos for his self-gratification by masturbating to them, said DPP Wong. She asked the court to impose eight months’ jail for the video-related offences, a $20,000 fine for possession of obscene films, and a fine at the court’s discretion for wrongful restraint.

The man’s lawyer, Amarjit Singh Sidhu, asked for leniency as his client had cooperated fully with investigations and did not upload the videos online.

District judge (DJ) Kenneth Yap disagreed, pointing out that the man had tried to delete the evidence and did not seem remorseful.

The accused had “violated the sanctity of both the workplace as well as the home”, DJ Yap said. When caught, he “showed no shame” and used force to prevent the victim from reporting him, the judge added.

The man will serve one month’s jail in lieu of the $20,000 fine as he cannot pay the sum. On the offence of wrongful restraint, the court imposed a week’s jail instead of the fine that the prosecution had requested.