NTU student out on bail for taking upskirt video commits similar offence

Nicholas Tan Siew Chye, 25, pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student was at his girlfriend's hall of residence in the school's campus to visit her. While he was there, he took an upskirt video of another female student.

Singaporean Nicholas Tan Siew Chye, 25, was arrested on Oct 19, the same day the offence was committed. But while out on bail, he committed another upskirt offence.

Tan pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism in court on Thursday (Dec 16).

A mandatory treatment order (MTO) suitability report was called for Tan who has been diagnosed with voyeuristic disorder.

An NTU spokesman told The Straits Times that Tan is still a student of the university and the school has taken disciplinary action against him. He was placed on suspension and barred from coming onto campus.

The university has also extended support to the individuals involved in the incident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei told the court that Tan spotted the victim, a 20-year-old female hall resident, at the hall of residence's first floor on Oct 19 last year.

She was wearing a red dress and was walking back to her room. Tan followed her as she walked up to the lift lobby on the third floor.

While the victim waited for the lift, Tan took out his mobile phone.

DPP Seah said: "He switched his phone camera on to video mode and squatted down, placing his phone under the victim's dress with the camera aimed up her dress and recording an upskirt video."

The victim felt Tan move closer towards her, turned and saw him immediately move back from his squatting position.

She was shocked and left the lobby, worried for her safety.

She later reported the matter to campus security. Tan's identity was established through closed-circuit television footage.

He was arrested on the same day and released on bail the next day.

On Feb 21 this year, Tan was returning home and when he parked his car at a multi-storey car park, he saw a 17-year-old girl in school uniform.

He felt the urge to take an upskirt video of her and followed her to the lift lobby of her block.

They took the same lift and as the teenage girl was about to exit, Tan squatted down and stretched out his arm with his phone camera towards the her thigh area to take an upskirt video.

The victim, who had already stepped out of the lift, felt him touch her thigh. She turned back and shouted.

She lodged a police report later that day and Tan was arrested again on March 1.

In court on Thursday, DPP Seah asked for a jail sentence of eight to 12 weeks, saying that Tan had reoffended while out on bail.

Calling this an "unduly harsh punishment", Tan's lawyer Anthony Wong said his client had sought psychiatric help before the second offence but had not received it.

Mr Wong asked for either an MTO or probation suitability report, or a jail sentence of four weeks for his client who is currently getting psychiatric help.

Mr Wong added that his client was not a habitual offender, but that his offences were "compulsive and unwanted manifestations of his psychiatric condition".

In reply, DPP Seah said the condition does not deprive him of his self-control.

District Judge Tan Jen Tse called for the MTO report but reminded Tan that he can still receive a jail sentence.

Tan will return to court on Feb 14 next year for sentencing.

He can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or any combination of the three for each offence.

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