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6 weeks' jail and fine for man who filmed a woman changing, rummaged through laundry at NTU hall

SINGAPORE — A 33-year-old man who filmed a female student while she was changing at a residential hall in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and was caught rummaging through a female student’s laundry was sentenced to six weeks' jail and fined S$1,000 on Friday (Jan 28).

6 weeks' jail and fine for man who filmed a woman changing, rummaged through laundry at NTU hall
Poh Wee Lee (pictured) pleaded guilty to one charge each of voyeurism and criminal trespass.

SINGAPORE — A 33-year-old man who filmed a female student while she was changing at a residential hall in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and was caught rummaging through a female student’s laundry was sentenced to six weeks' jail and fined S$1,000 on Friday (Jan 28).

Poh Wee Lee had pleaded guilty to one count each of voyeurism and criminal trespass, with one charge of possessing obscene films taken into consideration.

Poh was caught at around 1.30am on Oct 9 last year rummaging through a female student’s laundry at a residential hall in NTU. He had trespassed into the laundry room, which was accessible only to the hall residents, through a door that had been left ajar.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Pavithra Ramkumar told the court last year: “The accused was feeling stressed and thought he could relax by looking at female shorts, particularly striking or colourful shorts. The accused noticed a few pairs of female shorts in the machine and rummaged through the laundry to take a closer look.”

He was caught by a 22-year-old female student and was detained by two of her male friends after he tried to escape.

Before this incident, Poh had chanced upon a 20-year-old student changing clothes in her room at an NTU residential hall on Sept 15 last year.

He then used his mobile phone to record a video of her, moving the clip to a folder named “Facebook video” in his phone to hide it.

His sentencing came after an assessment ordered by the court last year found him unsuitable for a mandatory treatment order — a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence.

On Friday, DPP Pavithra reiterated the prosecution’s request for a jail sentence of at least six to eight weeks after seeing the assessment report.

Defence lawyer Jared Chen from Drew and Napier said the report found that Poh was not suffering from mental illness during the time of the offence, but he was later diagnosed with adjustment disorder and having suicidal ideation.

Mr Chen added that Poh’s chance of reoffending is very low.

In delivering his sentence, District Judge Ng Peng Hong said that the circumstances of Poh’s offences do not depart from precedent cases, which make a custodial sentence warranted.

The judge, however, granted a request from the defence to defer the jail sentence to Feb 11. This is to allow Poh to celebrate his first Chinese New Year with his wife as a married couple, and for him to look after his mother who was recently diagnosed with Covid-19.

Those convicted of voyeurism can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of the three.

Those convicted of criminal trespass can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$1,500, or both.

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crime court voyeurism NTU laundry trespass

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