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Singapore

Toilet voyeur caught in the act by victim's colleague gets jail

Toilet voyeur caught in the act by victim's colleague gets jail

Photo illustration of a voyeur filming in a toilet.

SINGAPORE: A voyeur who was caught in the act of recording a woman in the toilet was sentenced to 16 weeks' jail on Thursday (Oct 6).

Mohammad Nabeel Harith Zulkifli, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism, with another three charges taken into consideration.

His lawyer tried to argue for a lower jail term for him, pointing to the steps he has taken to rehabilitate himself. These include surrendering his phone passwords to his parents, creating a Google spreadsheet for his family and friends to note his whereabouts and never going to the toilet alone.

The court heard that Nabeel had gone to a women's toilet in a location not specified in court documents at about 2pm on Feb 8, 2021.

He went there as he "wished to satisfy his impulse of observing females relieving themselves in the toilet", said the prosecutor.

After waiting outside the toilet for about half an hour, Nabeel saw a 30-year-old woman entering a cubicle. He followed her in and squatted outside her cubicle, before extending his phone through the gap in the cubicle door to record her relieving herself.

The victim's 40-year-old colleague entered the toilet soon after and saw Nabeel taking a video of the victim. She shouted at him and asked him what he was doing, and Nabeel fled the scene.

The colleague called the police, and Nabeel was arrested at his home several days later. Devices seized from him contained a video of a second unknown victim relieving herself in a toilet. 

The prosecutor sought 16 weeks' jail for Nabeel, saying these are serious offences committed in public toilets and that members of the public are entitled to use the toilets without fear. 

Nabeel's lawyer asked for a lower jail term, saying her client has since taken several steps to improve himself. She said he has sought psychiatric treatment since 2017 but has since "been forced to face the reality" and to do more as the treatment was "not enough".

Nabeel has carried out research himself and learnt about cognitive behavioural therapy, suggesting it to his psychiatrist, she said.

He has also been working "intensely" as a Grab delivery rider to fund his therapy sessions, and removed his passwords from his phones so his parents can check his phone. He has also activated parental control on his devices and no longer owns a laptop, said his lawyer.

Nabeel also initially set up a Google Sheet on which he logged his whereabouts and made it accessible to his parents and friends, but stopped as this took quite some effort.

He also makes sure he is accompanied when he goes to public restrooms, said his lawyer.

The prosecutor acknowledged Nabeel's efforts at rehabilitation, but said he must still serve his punishment.

For each charge of voyeurism, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.

Source: CNA/ll(gr)

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