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‘I lost my mind’: Restaurant supervisor who took upskirt videos of women jailed 12 weeks

SINGAPORE — Single and lonely without any relatives here, a 31-year-old restaurant supervisor’s addiction to voyeuristic videos online led him to “lose his mind”, in his own words, and turn to taking upskirt videos of women here.

‘I lost my mind’: Restaurant supervisor who took upskirt videos of women jailed 12 weeks

Woo Kim Hoe, 31, told the judge he regretted taking upskirt videos and would not reoffend.

SINGAPORE — Single and lonely without any relatives here, a 31-year-old restaurant supervisor’s addiction to voyeuristic videos online led him to “lose his mind”, in his own words, and turn to taking upskirt videos of women here.

On Friday (Dec 20), Malaysian Woo Kim Hoe was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and fined S$1,000, after pleading guilty to three counts of insulting the modesty of three women and one count of possessing two obscene films.

Before the sentence was passed, Woo, who was not represented by a lawyer, told District Judge Teo Guan Kee that he regretted his actions.

“I lost my mind and did the wrong thing. I remember the time when my investigation officer asked me how (would) it feel if (it happened to) my sister... I thought about it and felt very sorry. I will not reoffend again,” Woo said.

He added that a sense of regret came over him the moment he was handcuffed by the police.

Woo was caught by a man who saw him sneak up behind a 24-year-old woman to film up her skirt on March 6 this year.

The court heard that at about 8pm that day, Woo noticed the victim, whom he found attractive, after boarding the train at Newton MRT Station. Then, he started browsing through some of the upskirt videos he had taken previously.

When the victim, who cannot be named due to a court order, alighted at Hillview MRT Station, he decided to follow her so that he could take videos of her.

Woo, however, did not realise that a 35-year-old commuter had been standing next to him on the train and watching him all this time, witnessing him view upskirt videos on his phone and staring at the victim.

After seeing Woo alight, the commuter, Mr Teow Yoke Paul, also alighted to see what he was up to. Sure enough, Woo was up to no good.

While on the ascending escalator, Woo stood behind the victim and placed his Nokia Lumia phone between his legs, so that he could position it such that the camera lens of the phone was facing upwards and underneath the victim’s skirt.

When Mr Teow confronted Woo, he tried to escape but could not do so because other members of the public had rallied around to help. Mr Teow then alerted a staff member at the train station’s passenger service centre and Woo was detained until the police arrived.

The police later found on his phone a 13-second video that captured the victim’s inner thighs, as well as eight other upskirt videos of various female subjects.

Investigations later established that Woo had taken six of the eight other videos just two days before, largely using a similar method — shooting while going up the escalator with his victims. He took the remaining two videos earlier on the day he was caught.

In his phone, the police also found two pornographic videos, which Woo said were downloaded from the internet and transferred from his laptop to his mobile phone. On Friday, he was fined S$1,000 over the obscene films — S$500 for each film found.

During mitigation on Friday, Woo told the judge that after he was released on bail following his arrest, he had sought the help of a psychiatrist and gone for counselling over his voyeuristic tendencies. He even sought to volunteer at a charity to ease his guilt.

Woo also related to the court that the psychiatrist had told him that he could have developed the tendencies due to his stress as he does not have any relatives in Singapore.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lim Woon Yee said that stress should not be given any mitigating weight because he could well find other avenues to relieve his stress.

Woo told the court that he “really did not know” that obscene films are illegal in Singapore. DPP Lim argued that it is well established that ignorance of the law is not a defence or a mitigating factor.

Woo could have been fined up to a year, fined, or both, for intruding on the privacy of each of his victims with the intent to insult their modesty.

For possession of an obscene film, he could have been fined up to S$20,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.

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upskirt foreign worker court crime jail voyeurism

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