NTU upskirter was a 'brazen, persistent' offender: Judge
Undergrad who preyed on 335 women in less than six months jailed for nine months and three weeks
He went for counselling in 2012 to curb his urge to take illicit videos but stopped after he felt he had overcome it.
While he should have sought medical help when he felt these impulses again, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduate Shaun Ho Yan Liang, 26, succumbed to them.
Yesterday, Ho, 26, was jailed for nine months and three weeks after being convicted last week of taking 469 illicit videos of 335 victims in 171 days between Feb 2 and July 22, 2018.
In court yesterday, District Judge Adam Nakhoda made it clear that Ho's earlier attempt at treatment had no impact on his sentencing decision, though this showed the final-year psychology student knew he had a problem.
Ho had struck at numerous locations around Singapore, including on campus.
He was convicted on two charges of insulting the modesty of a woman and one charge under the Films Act. Another charge under the Films Act was taken into consideration.
Judge Nakhoda said Ho was a persistent and habitual offender and committed his crimes in a particularly brazen manner.
Almost every day for close to six months, he would find women in shorts and skirts, squat or stand close to them, and followed many of them to record multiple videos.
Judge Nakhoda highlighted as an aggravating factor Ho's use of an app that would show a blank screen while his phone was recording a video.
In an earlier hearing, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh had said Ho would review the videos later and derive pleasure from them. He also made screenshots from some of the clips.
He was caught at a supermarket in Eastpoint Mall after filming a woman.
The police seized Ho's phone and laptop and forensic checks found the videos he took, as well as another 106 obscene videos.
In mitigation, Ho's lawyer had said his client was a bright individual, citing testimonials from Ho's former classmates.
But Judge Nakhoda agreed with DPP Teh that scholastic excellence was irrelevant unless it was linked to rehabilitative potential, referencing the High Court judgment in the case of Terence Siow.
The judge said he did not see such a link in Ho's case.
Siow, 24, who had molested a woman in a train, was initially given probation, but was jailed for two weeks after an appeal by the prosecution.
Judge Nakhoda also gave little weight to a psychiatric report tendered by the defence, which said Ho's voyeuristic disorder had contributed to his offending.
Addressing the court after being sentenced, Ho promised to continue his treatment after his release from prison to make sure this does not happen again.
He said he felt a sense of relief when he was arrested.
His voice shaky at times, Ho told the court: "I apologise to all the people I have hurt... I know my apology now cannot undo everything I have done."
He urged other offenders to seek help as soon as possible.
In a statement last Wednesday, an NTU spokesman said Ho was no longer attending classes at NTU and would be subject to the university's disciplinary proceedings after his sentencing.
For each charge of insulting the modesty of a woman, Ho could have been jailed for up to a year or fined, or both.
For the Films Act charge, he could have been jailed for up to six months or fined, or both.