Singapore

Ex-NTU student jailed 8 weeks for taking voyeur videos

Over four months from December 2015, a male accountancy student secretly took videos of women using toilets at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) with a pen-like device and his mobile phone.

Toh Chik Heng, 25, was finally detained after a female student noticed a mobile phone held above the toilet cubicle she was in.

On Thursday (June 29), Toh, who has since graduated from NTU, was jailed for eight weeks after admitting to one count of criminal trespass and two of intruding into the privacy of a woman.

Another seven charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

The acts were carried out at the handicap toilet at NTU Business School at Block S4, Level B2 and a laundry room female toilet at Block 9 of Hall 2, where Toh was caught after an incident on March 14 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said Toh was walking along the corridor of Block 9 of Hall 2 when he saw a 20-year-old female student walk out of the study room and enter the laundry room.

He then heard the sound of the toilet door closing and knew the victim had entered the toilet.

He decided to secretly film her. He entered the cubicle next to the victim's, switched on the video recording mode of his mobile phone, stood on the toilet bowl, and held his phone over the cubicle wall with the camera lens pointing down at the victim.

The victim ran out when she saw the mobile phone and told her boyfriend about the incident.

Toh deleted the video he had taken and went to the laundry room basin where he pretended to wash his hands. The victim and her boyfriend returned shortly after and detained him. A security officer at NTU then called the police.

Investigations showed that Toh had also used a pen-like recording device sometime in January the same year.

He hooked the device onto a clipboard and hung it on the door of a handicap toilet at Block S4, Level B2 with the video recording function switched on. He also ensured that the camera lens was directed towards the toilet bowl area.

DPP Pang said Toh later returned to the handicap toilet to retrieve the pen which held a 10-minute long recording.

DPP Pang asked for eight weeks' jail to be imposed.

He said the offences were committed over four months, and the planting of the pen-like device showed a high level of pre-meditation, deliberation and sophistication.

Seeking probation or a short detention order, Toh's lawyer M. Kalidass said his client had worked as an associate at top accountancy firm KPMG after his graduation. He left early this year.

His former employer's testimonial spoke volumes of his character, said the counsel.

He added that Toh was under a great deal of academic pressure at the time of the offences, and has since sought professional help from consultant psychiatrist Munidasa Winslow.

District Judge Terence Tay took into account, among other things, Toh's plea of guilt and his contributions to society.

But he said there were also a number of aggravating factors such as the number of charges he faced.

Not only did most of the offences take place in the hall residence at an institution of higher education, the judge said he had intruded into the privacy of women by secretly filming them in the toilets.

Judge Tay said the sentence must reflect the court's disapproval of this conduct and ensure that other offenders would not commit or think of committing such offences.

Toh could have been jailed for up to one year and/or jailed for insulting modesty. For criminal trespass, he could have been fined up to $1,500 and/or jailed for up to three months.

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