Seven months' jail for man who filmed upskirt videos

A serial voyeur was jailed for seven months yesterday for committing more than 70 offences of insulting and attempting to insult the modesty of a woman.

Former engineer Samuel Ong Huixiang, 28, had admitted to 15 charges of intruding into the privacy of women in February this year. Another 58 similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations showed that Ong had been filming upskirt videos of numerous unsuspecting women from late 2014 until August 2015.

Police arrested him in an ambush on Sept 30, 2015, and seized three electronic devices from his home in Elias Road.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Winston Man said that in one case, Ong was sitting opposite a 25-year-old woman on the MRT train from City Hall to Pasir Ris when he recorded two videos of her without her knowledge. This occurred on Aug 11, 2015.

The court heard that after alighting at Pasir Ris MRT station, he continued to tail her till she spotted him. He fled when she shouted at him.

Ong had committed the offences at a number of places, including the FairPrice outlet at White Sands, Nanyang Technological University, Art Friend at Bras Basah Complex, and on a bus.

Pressing for at least 28 weeks' jail to be imposed, DPP Man told District Judge Kenneth Yap that Ong had violated the privacy of numerous victims. He added that Ong had been given a chance when he was placed on probation for similar offences in 2008, and had not learnt his lesson.

An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist said Ong "exhibited a significant degree of premeditation by taking calculated risks and selecting his victims carefully".

"In the present case, there is no discernible psychiatric condition, let alone one that robs the accused of his self-control," said DPP Man.

Pleading for leniency, Ong's lawyer Peter Ong Lip Cheng said his client had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder since 2009. He had a relapse 21/2 years later when he stopped his medication.

He said Ong realised his folly, was truly remorseful and deeply regretted letting his family down. He will continue with his treatment after his release.

The maximum penalty for insulting the modesty of a woman is one year's jail and a fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2017, with the headline 'Seven months' jail for man who filmed upskirt videos'. Print Edition | Subscribe