Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Man filmed female NTU student changing, also caught in residential hall looking through laundry

SINGAPORE — Feeling frustrated after arguing with his fiancee, Poh Wee Lee went to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and snuck into a laundry room at a residential hall.

Man filmed female NTU student changing, also caught in residential hall looking through laundry

Poh Wee Lee pleaded guilty to committing two offences on the campus of Nanyang Technological University.

  • Poh Wee Lee, 33, pleaded guilty to trespassing NTU residential halls and to voyeurism
  • He was in a laundry room rummaging through some clothes when a student caught him
  • His lawyer said he was undergoing several stressful events and had been diagnosed with an adjustment disorder
  • A judge called for a report to assess if he is suitable for a community-based sentence

SINGAPORE — Feeling frustrated after arguing with his fiancee, Poh Wee Lee went to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and snuck into a laundry room at a residential hall.

He was caught rummaging through a female student’s laundry, but this was not the first time he had broken the law at the university. He had gone there a few weeks earlier and filmed another student changing her clothes in her hall room.

Poh, 33, pleaded guilty on Monday (Dec 13) to one charge each of voyeurism and criminal trespass.

Another charge of possessing obscene films will be taken into consideration for sentencing on Jan 28.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong called for a report to assess if Poh is suitable for a mandatory treatment order — a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence. 

Poh’s lawyer Jared Chen had argued for this, telling the court that a psychiatrist had diagnosed Poh with an adjustment disorder “with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct”.

He was undergoing difficulties at work, including being passed over for a promotion, and was under financial pressures, the defence counsel from law firm Drew and Napier added.

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.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Pavithra Ramkumar

The court heard that Poh first struck on Sept 15 last year between 11pm to midnight. When he went to an NTU residential hall, he chanced upon a 20-year-old student changing clothes in her room.

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.

Then on Oct 9 last year, he had just finished work at 12.30am when he wanted to take a breather, having just had a dispute with his fiancee. He rode his motorcycle to NTU and got there around 1.30am, then walked towards some residential halls.

He walked up a grass slope and got into a laundry room, which was accessible only to the hall residents, through a door that had been left ajar.

After sitting in between the washing machines, he opened one when the wash cycle ended.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Pavithra Ramkumar told the court: “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.”

Just then, a 22-year-old female student went into the room to collect her laundry and saw what Poh was doing. He panicked and ran towards the back of the room, before she sent text messages by phone to two male friends to ask them to go over.

As Poh was leaving the laundry room, the students noticed him and shouted at him. He began running out of fear, but they gave chase and detained him.

'SAW FUTURE AS APPARENTLY HOPELESS'

DPP Pavithra asked for at least six to eight weeks’ jail. She objected to the calling of a mandatory treatment order report, arguing that Poh had not demonstrated a strong propensity for rehabilitation and that his psychiatrist’s report was not strong enough.

In mitigation, Poh’s lawyer, Mr Chen, said that he had been “enduring considerable stress” at the time of his offences and listed five factors.

These included being posted to a new position in his job with a heavier workload, but he was not given the promotion he had been waiting for since June last year.

His wedding was postponed due to restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, and he had intended to buy a flat with his fiancee but could not pull out of co-owning his parents’ flat and paying the mortgage without incurring a financial penalty, Mr Chen added.

Because of his longer work hours, he quarrelled with his fiancee more often. They have since tied the knot, but Mr Chen did not specify when this happened or what his occupation is.

Poh “saw his future as apparently hopeless” and reported very low satisfaction with his job after he had put a lot of effort into it. It was his first job after completing his National Service, the defence counsel told the court.

Referring to the psychiatrist’s report, Mr Chen said that Poh could not give a reason for committing the offences. He was a filial son and husband, a “diligent and dedicated officer”, and would benefit from psychotherapy, the lawyer added.

Poh has further indicated that he wants to give a formal written apology to the victims, Mr Chen said.

District Judge Ng decided to call for a mandatory treatment order after saying that there appeared to be, on first impression, "some evidence" of a mental disorder.

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.

Related topics

Nanyang Technological University court crime voyeurism NTU

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa