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ITE student gets probation for taking upskirt videos of 27 women

ITE student gets probation for taking upskirt videos of 27 women

Photo illustration of a man taking upskirt photos (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: An ITE student who took upskirt videos of 27 women over about four months was sentenced to 21 months' probation on Thursday (Oct 31).

Heng Zhi Sheng, 20, was also banned from using devices with camera or recording functions unless a psychologist finds that he can, and he will have to undergo psychological intervention and offence-specific treatment.

Heng had pleaded guilty to one count of intruding on the privacy of women to insult their modesty by taking upskirt videos of them on 27 occasions between Jul 1 and Oct 22 last year.

The court heard that Heng was at the Velocity mall at Novena Square for a medical appointment on Oct 22, 2018 when he saw a woman in a red dress.

Feeling attracted to her, the Higher NITEC student followed her as she took an upriding escalator, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Hee Jin.

Heng turned on the video function on his phone and positioned it under the woman's dress, taking a video that captured her inner thighs, underwear and buttocks.

A 51-year-old man who was nearby saw what had happened and followed Heng. He detained him at the mall and called the police, while the victim left and could not be traced.

When the police arrived, they seized Heng's phone, and a subsequent forensic analysis of the phone uncovered 27 upskirt videos of 27 women.

Heng admitted that he had taken all the videos between Jul 1 and Oct 22 last year at Hillion Mall, Lot 1, Velocity and JEM.

His defence lawyer Mohamed Fazal Abdul Hamid urged the court to be lenient with his client and give him probation.

"His parents are deeply concerned over his well-being and will strive to keep a closer eye on him so that he does not reoffend," said the lawyer. "Their hopes are for him to do well in school so that he can move on to find employment and to contribute to society."

He said Heng had come clean when he was detained and cooperated with police investigations at every stage, and that rehabilitation should be the dominant sentencing consideration as he was a young offender at 20.

Heng should be given an opportunity to continue his academic pursuits, said the lawyer, pointing out that his client has strong family support.

Heng's parents furnished a bond of S$5,000 to ensure his good behaviour while he is on probation, during which he will have to stay indoors from 10pm to 6am. His phone was forfeited to the police for disposal.

For insulting a woman's modesty, Heng could have been jailed for up to a year, fined or both.

Source: CNA/ll(hs)

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