Ex-SCDF major admits taking upskirt videos of colleague at workplace

Poh Siok Peng, a former SCDF major, pleaded guilty to two counts of insulting modesty for taking upskirt videos of his colleague.
Poh Siok Peng, a former SCDF major, pleaded guilty to two counts of insulting modesty for taking upskirt videos of his colleague. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Suspecting that her colleague at Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) had taken an upskirt video of her, the victim set up hidden cameras near her cubicle to catch him.

As a result of the "sting" operation, Poh Siok Peng, then a major, was caught on March 9 last year.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of insulting modesty on Wednesday (May 3).

The court heard on that day, the 45-year-old married father of two went to the 26-year-old woman's desk and chatted with her. She noticed he was fidgeting with his mobile phone at her desk.

After she viewed the footage extracted from the hidden cameras, she confirmed Poh had used his cellphone to record a video of the victim from under her desk.

She made a report the same day. His phone was seized and two upskirt videos of the victim taken on March 4 and 9 last year were retrieved.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said that sometime in January and February last year, the victim noticed that Poh often came to her cubicle to chat with her.

"He would sit in front of her in an awkward position - constantly looking and bending down while chatting with her as though reaching out for something under her desk," she said.

He would always sit in front of her instead of standing next to her desk like other colleagues, especially when she was wearing a dress or skirt to work.

On one occasion, she saw a light flash from under her desk and realised he was taking upskirt photographs of her. She informed her superior on March 3, and they carried out the "sting" operation.

DPP Chee said Poh had targeted the victim for two years before being caught. He had sold his previous mobile phones which he used to capture upskirt videos of the victim and could not remember exactly how many videos he had taken of her.

He would view the upskirt videos in the wee hours of the night to relieve stress.

In his mitigation plea, Poh's lawyer Tan Hee Joek said that since leaving the SCDF in May last year, his client has been working in telesales and administration, earning $1,800 a month, about 20 per cent of his previous salary in SCDF.

He said Poh was molested several times as a teenager and as a result, experienced flashbacks whenever he was stressed.

"As he was ashamed to relate to anyone of these unhappy incidents, he ended up taking upskirt videos to relieve himself," he said.

Counsel also said Poh's guilty plea indicates his "deepest remorse and regret", and he had sought professional help and is also receiving counselling.

DPP Chee had sought a sentence of at least six weeks for each charge, saying Poh had abused the victim's trust in him. She also pointed out the aggravated nature of the intrusion of the victim's privacy.

District Judge Kessler Soh adjourned sentencing to May 17.

Poh can be jailed for up to one year and/or fined on each charge of insulting modesty.