Man jailed for filming upskirt videos at Jurong Library

Winchell Ng Yu Ki was jailed for seven weeks for taking upskirt photos of women at Jurong Regional Library.
Winchell Ng Yu Ki was jailed for seven weeks for taking upskirt photos of women at Jurong Regional Library. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A student who placed his cellphone underneath a table to take upskirt photos of women at a public library was jailed for seven weeks on Wednesday (Oct 21).

Winchell Ng Yu Ki, 26, admitted to three counts of insulting the modesty of a woman at Jurong Regional Library on Dec 30 last year, and on Jan 5 and 7 this year. Another 17 similar charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

A court heard that a 17-year-old tertiary student went to the library at Jurong East Central 1 on the evening of Jan 7, and sat at a table in the fiction section on the second level.

Shortly, Ng came and sat opposite her. He placed his HTC cellphone underneath the table to take upskirt videos of the victim who was using her laptop. He did this for close to an hour, at various intervals and took multiple pictures.

A 33-year-old fellow patron noticed Ng behaving suspiciously with his hands underneath the table and confronted him. A commotion ensued and a library officer was notified.

The officer checked Ng's mobile phone and saw that there were some images of the victim which had been taken from underneath the table. Her skirt, thighs and legs were captured in the photographs.

Forensic analysis of Ng's phone revealed deleted images of other victims, including the ones taken on Dec 30 and Jan 5. All were unknown.

Ng admitted to taking these photographs at the Jurong Library because it gave him a thrill.

He also admitted that he would first observe what the victims were wearing and the manner in which they were sitting. He would then decide to sit opposite his victims to take upskirt photographs of them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo, who sought a sentence of four weeks per charge, told District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan the context of the offences should be taken into account, and the location in which it happened.

"The library is a place for learning and not for leering," he said.

He said Ng committed the offences boldly and was only caught after he had committed multiple offences for more than a year, since November 2013.

Pleading for leniency, Ng said in mitigation that he was wrong and had apologised to his family members and girlfriend. He said he had sought help including counselling from his pastor to make sure he would not do it again.

Judge Shaiffudin accepted the prosecution's submissions that there were aggravating factors featured in this case - the number of offences he had committed and that he had done it over quite a long period of time.

He said he took into account the substantial trauma that the victim had been subjected to.

Ng could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined for insulting the modesty of a woman.