7 weeks' jail for upskirt videos

A South Korean man who took upskirt videos of women at a supermarket in Bukit Timah Plaza was jailed for seven weeks yesterday.

Lee Bok Yeon, 50 (above), would place his two mobile phones in a shopping basket and look for victims to film.

Lee, the general manager of a company in the restaurant business at the time that he committed the offences, pleaded guilty to four out of 11 charges of insulting a person's modesty.

On May 10 this year, a 25-year-old woman was shopping with her 24-year-old boyfriend, who noticed Lee standing near the woman.

The boyfriend saw that whenever she bent forward to choose vegetables, Lee would follow suit. He also noticed that Lee had placed his shopping basket near her skirt. He also saw that there were two mobile phones in Lee's basket, one of which had its camera lens facing upwards.

He confronted Lee and grabbed the phone from the basket. Lee tried to snatch it back and it fell to the ground. The boyfriend then handed it over to a security guard. However, the guard returned it to Lee, who ran off.

The boyfriend gave chase and detained Lee with the help of members of the public. Lee then threw the phone to the ground, smashing it. But footage of the woman and others was retrieved from the phone. Investigations found that Lee had recorded an upskirt video of an unknown woman earlier that day, and of two others the day before.

Pleading for leniency, Lee, with his head bowed, said he wished to apologise to the victims and his family for his impulsive acts. A first-time offender, he said he regretted what he had done and felt very ashamed that his actions had caused his family to suffer.

"I lost my job, and my children also do not have the chance to go to school because I lost my job," he said through a Korean interpreter.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur, however, said this was not an isolated incident nor "a spur of the moment" offence. She said when he was caught in the act, he also tried to destroy evidence.

Lee could have been jailed for up to one year and fined for insulting a person's modesty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline '7 weeks' jail for upskirt videos'. Print Edition | Subscribe