Trainee cook jailed 30 weeks for "upskirt'' videos

SINGAPORE - A trainee cook who took 25 upskirt video recordings of women was jailed for 30 weeks on Friday.

Alex Lee Hao Min, 26, admitted to nine of 34 charges of of insulting the modesty of women at various locations including Bugis Junction on Jan 6 last year.

Only one victim was identified while the rest of the women are unknown.

A court heard that Lee was at Bugis Junction that evening when he decided to take an upskirt video of a 36-year-old manager who was browsing at the stationery section of Muji in Bugis Junction.

He squatted down and set his mobile phone in video recording mode with the camera lens facing upwards under the victim's skirt. He had recorded two videos of her underskirt when the victim's male colleague caught him and grabbed his phone.

Footage retrieved from Lee's mobile phone showed that he managed to capture the victim's inner thighs, buttocks and underwear. He even took a video of her face without her knowing.

Eighty-five videos of a similar nature were recovered.

He admitted recording them that day at various locations such as Ocean Financial Centre, One Raffles Quay, Fullerton Hotel underpass and Raffles Place MRT station.

He further admitted that he had been recording upskirt videos of women since 2013 at shopping malls or crowded places. He specifically targeted women wearing short dresses or skirts browsing for items, taking the escalator or climbing the stairs.

Lee told the court he could not control his urge.

District Judge Christopher Goh then told him the court must impose a sentence that will make him think of the consequences so that he will stop before actually doing it.

He said offenders like Lee who are caught and charged must expect the full weight of the law to be brought on them.

Cameras are getting smaller and can easily be concealed, he said.

"It takes but a moment for you to take such photographs, but every person, every woman, wherever they walk, should be able to do so without any fear that someone behind them may be doing this,'' he said.

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