SINGAPORE: A man who took upskirt videos of a woman at the supermarket was caught in the act and pinned down on the floor by the victim’s boyfriend.
Law Boon Kaih, 28, was sentenced to five weeks’ jail on Monday (Dec 9) for one count of insulting a woman’s modesty and another of possessing obscene films. A third charge was taken into consideration.
The court heard that Law was at a supermarket in Jurong West on Aug 29 last year when he saw the 18-year-old victim, who was there with her boyfriend.
Law thought the teenager was attractive and wanted to take an upskirt video of her, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yun Ling.
While the victim was selecting vegetables, Law stood close to her and squatted down to take clips of her.
The woman’s boyfriend noticed Law’s actions and found them suspicious.
When the couple left the vegetable section, Law followed them, and the boyfriend saw Law squatting down again while holding his phone.
Later, when Law was outside the supermarket checking the videos he had taken, the victim’s boyfriend asked Law to show him his phone.
Law refused at first, but eventually showed a clip to the boyfriend, fast-forwarding it to the end.
BOYFRIEND PINNED HIM TO THE FLOOR, GOT PASSER-BY TO CALL COPS
He then tried to run away, but the boyfriend pinned him to the floor and asked a passer-by to call the police.
Law, who was working as a management trainee at The Soup Spoon, had taken two clips of the victim capturing her inner thighs and upper body.
He later admitted that had tried taking upskirt videos of other women at least seven times before this.
During investigations, Law also admitted to downloading obscene videos from WeChat.
The prosecutor on Monday asked for at least six weeks’ jail to be imposed, saying there was nothing exceptional about this case to impose anything other than the usual short jail term.
Defence lawyer Wee Hong Shern asked for a fine instead, pointing to psychiatric reports that said his client was suffering from voyeuristic disorder.
LAW HAS VOYEURISTIC DISORDER, GIRLFRIEND CHEATED ON HIM
Law had been jilted by his girlfriend, who purportedly cheated on him with his best friend.
Mr Wee added that the offences were not premeditated, and said Law had been grocery shopping when he saw the victim and felt “compelled to offend” due to his mental condition.
The video clips did not capture the victim's private parts or underwear, said the lawyer.
In response, the prosecutor said the psychiatric reports were hearsay evidence and that Law had self-reported his condition to the psychiatrist, urging the court not to give any mitigating weight to them.
District Judge Adam Nakhoda said he did not agree with the defence that the sentence should differ from the usual ones imposed in upskirt cases.
"I would emphasise that there is no indication that has been established that his self-control was diminished, or that this is an impulse control disorder," said the judge, noting that Law had tried to escape when he was confronted.
He granted a deferment of the sentence to Dec 23, for Law to work out arrangements with his employer.
For insulting a woman’s modesty, he could have been jailed for up a year, fined, or both.