Jail, fine for man who took obscene videos and photos of 33 men in public toilets

SINGAPORE - Using his mobile phone, a sales executive captured obscene videos and photographs of 33 men in public toilets without their knowledge.

Some of the images Colin Teo Han Jern, 27, had taken showed his victims engaging in sexual acts while several others were of them defecating.

The Malaysian was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail and a fine of $4,000 on Wednesday (Dec 6) after he pleaded guilty last month to five counts of making obscene films, four counts of being a public nuisance and one count of having an obscene film in his possession.

Thirty other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

He committed almost all of his offences at The Paragon and The Cathay shopping malls.

Teo started his crime spree at around 7pm on March 8 last year when he went to a toilet at The Cathay and recorded videos of another man performing a sexual act in a cubicle beside his. He went on and captured obscene images of 32 other men after this.

For instance, he went to a toilet at The Paragon about five months later and recorded videos of two men having sex in a cubicle.

On Sept 2 last year, he went to a toilet in the same shopping mall and snapped indecent pictures of 11 men.

His acts of crime came to light a week later when one of his victims caught him red-handed.

Teo had gone to a toilet on the ground floor of The Paragon at around 6pm on Sept 9 last year and decided to film the man who was inside a cubicle.

Teo placed his mobile phone over the partition, angled it towards the man and captured photographs as well as videos of him.

The man suddenly spotted the device and snatched it away. He reported Teo to the mall's concierge and the police were alerted.

Teo's lawyer Chua Eng Hui asked District Judge Kenneth Yap to sentence his client to five weeks' jail and a fine.

Mr Chua said: "All the videos and photographs were solely for his own consumption. He took them as a form of escape and a way of coping with the stresses that he was experiencing at work and in his relationships with his family and friends."

On Wednesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon told the court that the prosecution may be appealing against the sentence and applied for Teo not to be sent to jail in the meantime.

The judge granted the application and Teo is now out on bail of $5,000. The prosecution will give its confirmation on its decision on filing an appeal on Dec 13. Teo will also be back in court on that day.

Offenders convicted of making an obscene video can be jailed for up to two years and fined between $20,000 and $40,000 for each charge.