Ex-DSTA IT engineer who took upskirt videos of more than 50 women jailed for 22 weeks

SINGAPORE - A former IT engineer with the Defence Science and Technology Agency was preparing to further his impressive career when he was caught taking an upskirt video on an escalator at an MRT station.

Philson Nah Zheng Xiang, who was awaiting enrolment into a master's programme at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) at the time, was later found to have targeted more than 50 women after he was arrested.

The 30-year-old was jailed for 22 weeks on Wednesday (April 3) after pleading guilty to seven counts of insulting a woman's modesty. Another 52 similar charges were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that a 33-year-old woman was riding an escalator at King Albert Park MRT station at around 5.30pm on June 5, 2017, when Nah stood on a step behind her and placed his phone under her dress to film her inner thighs.

The woman sensed something was wrong and confronted him.

"The accused admitted to taking an upskirt video of her but told her that he would delete it. He also begged her not to call the police," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Genevieve Pang.

"When the victim asked to see the video, the accused refused to show it to her. The victim tried to grab the accused's mobile phone but the accused resisted her attempts to take it."

 
 
 

The woman then shouted for help and attracted the attention of a passer-by who confronted Nah.

The 22-year-old man tried to get hold of the mobile phone but failed as Nah and the woman were still involved in a struggle.

During the scuffle, the court heard, Nah managed to delete her upskirt videos but could not get away when the man restrained him.

MRT staff were then alerted to seek police assistance.

Nah's mobile phone was later found to contain more upskirt videos of other unsuspecting women.

Nah, who left the DSTA in September 2016, was represented by lawyers Gloria James-Civetta and Beverly Lim. In their mitigation plea, they stated that Nah had completed his Master of Science in Information Systems programme at NTU in May last year.

The lawyers added that their client was "deeply remorseful" and "regrets having succumbed to... moments of temptation".

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