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Retiree, 78, jailed for filming daughter’s maid in shower using pinhole camera

SINGAPORE — While taking a shower, a domestic worker noticed a pinhole camera on a cable placed under the toilet door. She hurriedly got dressed and left the toilet.

The police found four videos lasting from 20 seconds to a minute that a retiree had secretly recorded of his domestic worker showering.
The police found four videos lasting from 20 seconds to a minute that a retiree had secretly recorded of his domestic worker showering.

SINGAPORE — While taking a shower, a domestic worker noticed a pinhole camera on a cable placed under the toilet door. She hurriedly got dressed and left the toilet.

Her employer's father, a 78-year-old retiree, initially denied filming the woman but later admitted to his daughter who hired the worker that he had done so.

Investigations revealed that the incident was the fourth time that the man had filmed the victim showering.

On Thursday, he was jailed for six months after pleading guilty to one charge of voyeurism.

A court order was issued to protect the identity of the victim.

Court documents showed that the victim, a 24-year-old Indonesian, was taking a shower on March 10 last year at about 3.40pm, when she spotted the small pinhole camera.

She quickly turned off the water, got dressed, left the toilet and saw the retiree praying in his bedroom.

When the man admitted his wrongdoing, a police report was made.

Investigations found that the man had operated a borescope, a tiny camera designed to assist visual inspection of narrow, difficult-to-reach areas, in order to observe the victim showering on four occasions between March 8 and 10 last year.

Four videos lasting from 20 seconds to a minute were found by police, with each of them showing the victim’s buttocks. The one-minute video also captured a partial frontal view and the victim’s face while she was fully nude.

Defence lawyer SS Dhillon of Dhillon & Panoo LLC pleaded for a lighter sentence of three months' imprisonment, in view of the retiree's old age and his clean record before the offence.

Mr Dhillon also said that the man is of frail health. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 2013 and is still being treated for knee-related issues.

The defence lawyer added that there was no evidence of the man sharing the video recordings and no proof that the man had viewed them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yohanes Ng, who sought a jail term of eight to 10 months' jail, said that the victim had looked to the man as a father figure, and that he had betrayed her trust by committing the offences.

The retiree had also become increasingly brazen in his acts, based on the increasing lengths of the videos recorded over three days. He might have continued with his actions had he not been caught, the prosecutor added.

In delivering his sentence, District Judge Lim Wen Juin said that he found it difficult to infer that the retiree had not viewed the videos, as argued by the defence counsel.

Voyeurism carries a penalty of up to two years' jail, a fine, caning or any combination of the three. The maximum punishment can be doubled if the offence is committed by a domestic worker's employer or a member of the employer’s household.

The offender cannot be caned under the law due to his advanced age.

Related topics

court crime voyeurism maid foreign domestic worker shower

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