7 weeks' jail for man who filmed female colleague in office toilet

SINGAPORE - A 28-year-old man was sentenced to seven weeks' jail on Thursday (Nov 12) for filming a 25-year-old colleague in a women's toilet inside their office building.

Gabriel Lim Wei Hng had snuck into the women's toilet after hearing women talking there while on his way out of the adjacent men's toilet.

On Thursday, Lim pleaded guilty in court to one charge of insulting a woman's modesty and another charge of criminal trespass relating to the incident that occurred on July 18 last year.

An additional four charges relating to two similar prior incidents were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lim Shin Hui told the court that Lim had "wanted to take a video of a woman using the toilet" when he heard female voices coming out of it.

He went to the cubicle nearest to the entrance and filmed the victim relieving herself in it by holding his mobile phone over the top of the cubicle, said DPP Lim.

The victim was then in a state of undress and shouted when she noticed the mobile phone.

"The accused panicked, retracted the mobile phone and exited the female toilet. He then went to the male toilet to delete the video that he had recorded of the victim and thereafter proceeded back to his office," said DPP Lim.

However, the victim and another witness who was in the toilet at the time reported the incident to the security office. They reviewed closed circuit television footage showing the corridor outside the toilet and recognised Lim as a colleague, she said.

In mitigation, Lim's defence counsel, Mr Favian Kang, said Lim's crime was a "spur of the moment" decision. Mr Kang added that his client is genuinely remorseful and makes no excuses for his behaviour.

He also said that Lim's crimes had a lower degree of intrusion on the victim's privacy as he had filmed the victim from a "top-down" perspective and not by sliding the phone under the cubicle's bottom opening.

However, District Judge Marvin Bay said he was "not convinced that there is a valid distinction" for that. He also noted that the multiple incidents demonstrate more of an "established modus operandi" than an impulsive urge to commit the offences.

"Offences of this nature are unfortunately all too prevalent, and deterrent sentences are therefore called for," said the judge.

Lim will serve his sentence from Dec 14.

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