Man jailed for taking upskirt images

A student would visit the fiction section of Jurong Regional Library to get a "thrill", a court heard yesterday. But he was not so interested in books.

Winchell Ng Yu Ki, 26, took a series of upskirt photographs of women there for more than a year before being caught in the act on Jan 7 when a fellow patron noticed him fiddling with his HTC cellphone underneath a table as a 17-year-old girl sat opposite.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan jailed Ng for seven weeks after he admitted to three counts of insulting the modesty of a woman.

Ng ,who was a final-year student at the University of Western Australia at the time of his offences, had insulted the modesty of 20 women at the library in Jurong East Central 1 since November 2013 .

Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo said Ng was sitting opposite a 17-year-old tertiary student in the library's fiction section on the evening of Jan 7 when he placed his cellphone underneath the table to take upskirt videos of her without her knowledge.

He did this for close to an hour until another library visitor noticed him behaving suspiciously and confronted him.

A commotion ensued and a library officer was notified.

The officer checked Ng's mobile phone and found images of the girl's skirt, legs and thighs.

Forensic analysis of Ng's phone revealed deleted images of other victims on Dec 30 last year and Jan 5. Their identities are not known.

DPP Quilindo sought a four-week jail sentence to be imposed on each charge. He told the court: "The library is a place for learning and not for leering.''

Pleading for leniency, Ng said in mitigation that he admitted that he was "wrong'' and was "remorseful". He said he had sought help to make sure he would not do it again.

Judge Shaiffudin said he took into account the substantial trauma the victim had been subjected to. He agreed there were aggravating factors in this case, such as the risk of proliferation of the videos online.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'Man jailed for taking upskirt images'. Print Edition | Subscribe