Ex-engineer jailed for taking upskirt videos and fined for obscene films

Teh Thian Seng, 50, a former engineer who took upskirt videos of unsuspecting women on escalators at shopping malls and MRT stations was jailed for three weeks on Friday, July 25, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Teh Thian Seng, 50, a former engineer who took upskirt videos of unsuspecting women on escalators at shopping malls and MRT stations was jailed for three weeks on Friday, July 25, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A former engineer who took upskirt videos of unsuspecting women on escalators at shopping malls and MRT stations was jailed for three weeks on Friday.

Teh Thian Seng, 51, now unemployed, is believed to be the first such offender with a psychiatric problem to be sentenced to jail.

The father of two was also fined $8,500 after admitting to having 17 obscene video films at his Hougang flat in 2012.

He had also pleaded guilty to insulting the modesty of women at the underground passageway between Ngee Ann City and Wisma Atria shopping centres and the escalator of City Hall MRT station on Aug 25 that year.

Six other charges of insulting modesty were considered during his sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeremy Lua had told the court that Teh, a Malaysian and Singapore permanent resident, got off work at a construction site at Suntec City that afternoon and went to City Hall MRT station where he filmed an upskirt video of a woman.

After she got off the escalator and exited the MRT station, he followed her and obtained a shot of her facial features when she was engrossed using her phone.

About two hours later, he was at the underground passageway between Ngee Ann City and Wisma Atria when he filmed another woman walking down the stairs.

A male passer-by saw what he did and became suspicious.

He followed Teh for a while and saw him stop and watch a video clip on his phone. When he went nearer Teh, Teh appeared to have been watching an "upskirt'' video clip on his phone. The witness confronted Teh and called the police.

Mr Lua had argued that the starting point for such offences should be custodial in light of the severity of the offences and aggravating factors present in this case.

He said that Teh's sexual paraphilia was not, unlike kleptomania, an impulse control disorder but a form of sexual deviance. There was nothing in the diagnosis to suggest that a person suffering from the disorder had problems controlling his or her impulses, he added.

Teh's lawyer Louis Joseph had asked for a fine or no more than a day's jail by reason of his client's treatable psychiatric disorder.

Teh could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined for each insulting modesty charge.