AT THE COURTS

Fresh grad jailed 4 weeks for filming upskirt video

He took so many upskirt videos of women that he did not know the exact number of victims.

In his latest attempt, Euan Liew Sheng Qi, 26, targeted a woman at Bedok Reservoir MRT station, who called the police after suspecting that she was a victim.

On Wednesday, Liew, a fresh graduate who has just started working, was sentenced to four weeks' jail for insulting the modesty of a woman by filming an upskirt video. His university and occupation were not stated in court documents.

The Singaporean first saw the 26-year-old woman at the platform of MacPherson MRT station on the way home at 9pm on July 17. They sat next to each other when the train arrived.

"While on board the train, (Liew) glanced at her repeatedly, as he thought she was attractive," Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Heng told the court.

At around 9.45pm, they alighted at Bedok Reservoir MRT station and Liew decided to take an upskirt video.

When the woman took the escalator heading up, he stood two steps behind her and raised his right leg up one step. He placed his wallet and phone on top of his knee, with the camera facing upwards.

She felt a slight brush on her right thigh and turned to see the phone on Liew's knee near the bottom of her skirt. She waited for him at the station's fare gantry to confront him.

Realising he might have been caught, Liew loitered near the escalator and deleted the video he took. The woman pretended to leave the station, hoping to lure him past the gantry, but eventually called the police.

They traced Liew, who presented himself for investigations.

DPP Heng said: "When interviewed by the police, the accused admitted that he had taken upskirt videos on other occasions but could not recall how many times he had done so. He deleted the videos after using them to satisfy his own urges."

The phone was seized by the police and no upskirt footage was found, said DPP Heng, who sought a jail term of four to six weeks.

She said Liew should not be considered a first-time offender, as he admitted it was not his first attempt at filming such videos.

Defence lawyer B. Rajendraprasad urged the judge to issue a short detention order or a fine, as Liew was a fresh graduate who had just started working, and a jail sentence could affect his career.

A short detention order is a community sentence in which offenders are detained in prison for up to 14 days but will not have a criminal record after release.

District Judge Kevin Kwek ruled that a jail term was better suited to deter such offences and said: "Deterrence is relevant given that cameras are coming in all shapes and sizes... The perverse can use this technology anywhere.

"A strong message should be sent to those who harbour such thoughts."

For insulting the modesty of a woman, Liew could have faced up to one year in jail and a fine.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2021, with the headline Fresh grad jailed 4 weeks for filming upskirt video. Subscribe