Cabby gets jail for taking upskirt pictures

Feeling stressed owing to his financial woes, a taxi driver went on a crime spree and snapped more than 200 upskirt pictures of at least 15 women - including one of his passengers - in a day.

Samuel Ng Key Chai, 50, was jailed for 18 weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to six counts of insulting a woman's modesty. Nine other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus said that between 10.37am and 11.43am on March 3 last year, Ng used his mobile phone to snap more than 100 upskirt pictures of five unsuspecting women at a department store.

About two hours later, he was driving his taxi when he picked up a woman passenger. After she sat in the rear passenger seat, he placed his mobile phone on the dashboard with the camera facing her.

By pressing his phone's "volume button", Ng managed to snap 18 pictures of the woman's underwear without her knowledge.

He later drove to Great World City shopping centre in Kim Seng Road where, at around 3pm, a supermarket security officer noticed Ng behaving suspiciously in the mall.

The 34-year-old man noticed from afar that Ng was holding his phone with its camera facing upwards while squatting beside a woman who was engrossed in her shopping. Ng placed the device under her skirt for a few seconds before moving away, the court heard.

The security officer decided to follow Ng and spotted him performing a similar act on two women. He detained Ng before alerting the police.

Ng, who was unrepresented, told District Judge Kessler Soh that he was very remorseful.

In response to queries, ComfortDelGro group corporate communications officer Tammy Tan said Ng is no longer with the company.

She added: "Female passengers who feel threatened in any way should immediately contact someone on their mobile phones. If requests to alight are ignored, they should wind down the window and signal for assistance."

For each count of insulting a woman's modesty, Ng could have been jailed for up to a year and fined.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'Cabby gets jail for taking upskirt pictures'. Print Edition | Subscribe