Singapore

Ex-bank officer jailed 24 week for upskirt videos

There have been "too many" upskirt cases and it is important to keep sending a message that this sort of behaviour will be met with a sufficiently deterrent sentence, said a district judge as he jailed a man for 24 weeks yesterday for taking such videos of mostly strangers and a colleague.

District Judge Kenneth Yap said there were aggravating factors in Teo Ding Luen's case that could not be ignored.

"This is a person who is a menace if left unchecked. This is a menace especially in crowded Singapore where women have to take MRT and forced to stand cheek by jowl," he said.

He found it "disturbing" that despite sentences that have been given and media reports of these cases, more of such cases continue to turn up in court.

"The sanctity of women in public places should be protected... that really is the nub," he added.

Teo, 40, was a senior bank officer when he committed 62 charges of insulting modesty at various locations, including NTUC FairPrice supermarkets, and on MRT trains between January 2015 and July last year.

He admitted to 17 of the 62 charges on Thursday (Sept 28).

Teo was caught in the act on a train by another commuter.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chew Xin Ying said Teo boarded the train at Bishan MRT station on July 25 last year and stood behind a 25-year-old woman.

He held in his right hand a black paper bag containing a black Sony hand-held action camera.

He had cut a small hole in the paper bag and positioned the camera to film through the hole.

After turning on the recording function, he positioned the camera beneath the victim's skirt, pointing it upwards.

A 29-year-old project manager saw what he did and detained him. The police were called in.

Teo also surreptitiously took 17 upskirt videos of his colleague between June 2015 and July last year.

He admitted that he had been filming upskirt videos since 2009 and had taken hundreds of upskirt videos.

He transferred the videos to a portable hard disk drive and transferred the ones he liked to his mobile phone.

Teo's lawyer, Mr Anand Nalachandran, said the father of one has taken pro-active and positive steps to manage his voyeurism, a psychiatric condition that was discovered when he saw a psychiatrist after his arrest.

An Institute of Mental Health report had also stated that Teo had voyeuristic disorder with a history of fetishistic tendencies.

DPP Chew sought a sentence of at least 20 weeks' jail, saying that there was an element of abuse of trust and that little weight should be given to his first-time-offender status.

"There is public interest in discouraging such criminal conduct, in particular, the use of a recording device, and even the possibility of circulation," she said.

The maximum penalty for insulting the modesty of a woman is one year's jail and a fine per charge.

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