SBS Transit MRT worker jailed 16 weeks for taking upskirt videos of women, students while on duty

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
King Albert Park MRT Station Singapore (Yahoo News Singapore File photo)
King Albert Park MRT Station Singapore (Yahoo News Singapore File photo)

SINGAPORE — An SBS Transit assistant station manager who took upskirt videos of uniformed girls and women over a year while conducting patrolling duties was jailed 16 weeks on Friday (9 October).

Asher Heng Ande, a 23-year-old Singaporean, pleaded guilty to six of 15 charges relating to insulting a woman’s modesty. The remaining nine charges and one separate charge of possessing obscene films were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Heng had developed a fetish for secretly recording invasive videos of women wearing short pants or skirts. To satisfy his fetish, Heng would download pornography.

During his National Service with the police, Heng was posted to the Public Transport Security Command. He would record videos of girls and women at MRT stations while performing foot patrol duties between 2016 and 2018.

His first attempt at taking an upskirt video was on 21 June 2018 when he found himself behind a woman on a flight of stairs and felt an urge to film her underwear.

A week later, Heng was hired by SBS Transit as an Assistant Station Manager. In October 2018, Heng was assigned to King Albert Park MRT Station, where his fetish grew stronger when he observed female students from a nearby school in their uniforms.

He began recording more upskirt videos while patrolling the station at work. He also filmed the videos while he was doing his shift at Cashew MRT Station.

On most of these occasions, while patrolling in his SBS Transit uniform, Heng would pick an attractive target and tail her to an escalator or flight of stairs. He would then angle his phone – in recording mode – under the target’s skirt or shorts.

After committing an act each time, Heng would quickly retract his phone and cover the camera while ending the recording.

Victim alerted when phone hit her thigh

Heng’s acts were later uncovered after he was caught in the act while on patrol at Cashew MRT Station on 31 May 2019. Around 9pm, he saw a woman tap out from the station gantry and decided to record an upskirt video of her. He followed her to an escalator and attempted to angle his phone under her dress.

He had no idea that his phone had not started recording. However, the phone made contact with the back of the woman’s left thigh. The woman then turned around to confront him.

The woman brought Heng back to the MRT station control to his supervisor, who eventually called the police. After Heng was arrested, his home was raided and his mobile devices seized. His staff locker at Cashew MRT Station was searched and police seized an unused sanitary pad, a pair of blue female jeans, a pair of green female shorts and a green skirt.

An analysis of his mobile phone revealed 15 upskirt videos, a number of which were successfully captured. The videos depicted girls of various ages: from primary school girls who were wearing uniforms to women in their 40s. Fourteen of these occurred at MRT stations.

The prosecution sought 18 weeks’ jail for Heng, citing the young age of some victims and Heng’s position as SBS Transit staff as aggravating factors.

“While public transport operator staff are not public personnel in the same sense as police officers, the public nevertheless places a great deal of trust in them, especially in deterring and apprehending upskirt voyeurs,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Huo Jiongrui.

Heng instead betrayed that trust, said the DPP. “He lived a double life. His family and colleagues in SBS Transit were none the wiser as to his perversions.”

Accused fears how his crime reflects on parents

Heng’s lawyer, Kalaithasan Karuppaya, said that apart from being remorseful for his actions, Heng has been “mentally punished since police investigations” and was fearful of being judged for his actions.

“The accused felt that his offences had cast an undesirable light upon his parents as people may view them in a distasteful manner and even question the family’s upbringing,” said Kalaithasan, who added that his parents have stood by him.

The lawyer also pointed out that Heng was young at the time of the offences.

“It was a phase of ambiguity clouded with a blur discernment between right and wrong. It was also a life stage where the accused is susceptible to letting his actions precede his thoughts, acting on the whims and fancies of his emotions and desire.”

The lawyer added that Heng had started an exercise regime in a bid to “kick off his urge”.

Sentencing Heng, District Judge Adam Nakhoda noted that Heng was employed to ensure the safety and security in MRT stations but instead committed the offences. He also considered the young age of some of the victims.

In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, Tammy Tan, SBS Transit’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, said Heng had not been with the company since 5 June last year.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

Other Singapore stories

Orchard Towers death: Natalie Siow gets 5 months' jail

18-year-old involved in knife attack at Boon Lay supermarket charged in court

SingPost postmen to get all-new uniforms on World Post Day

Singapore to pilot cruises to nowhere from Nov, with enhanced safety protocols

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting