Man jailed for filming woman in shower

A man covered his head with a towel to avoid being recognised on security camera footage. He then entered and hid in a female shower room cubicle at Republic Polytechnic (RP)'s swimming complex last November.

A short while later, two women went into the shower room. After they had each entered their cubicles, Ang Wei Sheng, 23, an assistant service manager, went to the cubicle next to the one occupied by a 25-year-old accountant. He placed his smartphone under the divider and recorded her showering.

She shouted when she saw the phone, which had a red light flashing on it. Ang quickly withdrew the device and fled. He deleted the 40-second video shortly after the incident on Nov 8.

Yesterday, Ang, who graduated from RP in 2013, was jailed for 10 weeks after admitting to criminal trespass and insulting the modesty of a woman. Two other charges of criminal trespass were considered in sentencing. A court heard that Ang had also trespassed into the female shower room and peeked at an unknown woman showering for about 10 seconds. But he did not record any video at the time.

A property executive of the polytechnic made a police report on Nov 26, following several incidents of an unknown man covering up CCTV cameras with plastic bags and entering the female showers.

Ang was arrested on Dec 3 after the police tracked him down.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Yvonne Poon said Ang had carried out the offences with a degree of planning and premeditation.

He had intentionally covered the CCTV cameras to obscure footage, used a towel to disguise himself, and even protected his phone with a plastic bag while filming in the wet conditions of the shower.

The degree of intrusion was very high as his victim was captured in full nudity, she said.

Responding to Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Fellow Cheryl Ng's point in her mitigation that Ang did not use a camcorder, which can capture better images, DPP Poon said the quality of video footage taken with a mobile device can be just as good if not better than that of a camcorder.

Ang could have been jailed for up to one year and fined for insulting the modesty of a woman. The maximum penalty for criminal trespass is three months' jail and a $500 fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2016, with the headline 'Man jailed for filming woman in shower'. Print Edition | Subscribe