Ex-IT engineer jailed 22 weeks for taking upskirt videos

A former IT engineer was preparing to further his 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, after he was arrested, to have targeted more than 50 women.

The 30-year-old was jailed for 22 weeks yesterday 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 cell-phone but failed, as Nah and the woman were still involved in a struggle.

During the scuffle, the court heard, Nah managed to delete the upskirt video of the woman but could not get away when the man restrained him. MRT staff were then alerted and police assistance sought.

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

Nah was represented by lawyers Gloria James-Civetta and Beverly Lim.

In their mitigation plea, they said Nah completed his master's in information systems at NTU last May.

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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2019, with the headline 'Ex-IT engineer jailed 22 weeks for taking upskirt videos'. Print Edition | Subscribe