Ex-bank officer jailed 24 weeks for taking upskirt videos

Eugene Chong Sin Hwee, 29, was jailed for 24 weeks on Friday (Oct 28) for taking more than 100 upskirt videos of women for over a year.
Eugene Chong Sin Hwee, 29, was jailed for 24 weeks on Friday (Oct 28) for taking more than 100 upskirt videos of women for over a year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A former bank officer was jailed for 24 weeks on Friday (Oct 28) for taking more than 100 upskirt videos of women for over a year.

Eugene Chong Sin Hwee, 29, was attached to a POSB branch at Jurong Point when he committed 121 counts of insulting the modesty of a woman at various locations between March 2013 and September 2014.

Chong, now unemployed, pleaded guilty to 12 counts and had the remaining 109 charges taken into consideration in sentencing.

The court heard that a 23-year-old woman was travelling up the escalator at Tanjong Pagar MRT station on Sept 16, 2014 when she had an uneasy sensation from the back. She turned and saw Chong standing very close to her and holding on to his mobile phone which was positioned under her skirt.

Alarmed and insulted, she held on to his shirt. She managed to detain him with the help of two passers-by.

She looked through the contents of his phone and saw that he had taken an upskirt video of her inner thigh.

The police was called. Multiple upskirt videos of unidentified women were captured on Chong's phone.

He admitted to taking the videos at places like MRT stations, shopping malls and other places with escalators.

He also admitted that he had been doing this since 2011 after browsing an Internet forum which had upskirt videos of women.

Intrigued, he began filming upskirt videos for his own viewing pleasure.

Seeking a sentence of at least eight weeks' jail to be imposed per charge, Deputy Public Prosecutor Carene Poh highlighted general and specific deterrence principles.

She said a general deterrence was relevant because mobile phones with camera functions are now ubiquitous. Cameras with recording devices come in all shapes, sizes and disguises, and are getting cheaper and easier to acquire, she said, adding that perverts find it easier to prey on unsuspecting women everywhere.

Mr T.M. Sinnadurai said his client, a Nanyang Technological University materials science graduate, is remorseful and regrets his actions. He said Chong has taken steps to get treatment and will continue to do so.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said the mobile phone has been invented for good use. Instead, it has been turned into an "instrument of crime", reflecting a large variety of ways in which it was used.

He agreed with the prosecution that a significant general deterrent sentence must be imposed because there are too many similar cases coming up.

The maximum punishment for insulting modesty is one year's jail and a fine.