Man reporting for national service caught with upskirt photos of 14 women in phone; gets 8 weeks' jail

Gabriel Tan Choon Wei admitted that he had started taking upskirt photos of women from mid or late 2014.
Gabriel Tan Choon Wei admitted that he had started taking upskirt photos of women from mid or late 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Over a span of 1 ½ years, an Institute of Technical Education (ITE) student took a total of 35 upskirt photographs of 14 unknown women at his college, shopping centres and unknown locations.

But Gabriel Tan Choon Wei was not found out until he enlisted for full-time police national service in 2016.

When Tan, now 23, reported at the Home Team Academy on Oct 2 that year, officers took his mobile phone away as NSFs are not allowed to bring in mobile phones with camera function into the academy.

While checking his cellphone to see whether prohibited photographs were taken of the academy, the company commander discovered upskirt photographs of women stored in his phone.

A police report was made the next day.

Tan admitted to police officers that he had started taking upskirt photos of women from mid or late-2014.

He also admitted that he had stolen female lingerie from corridors near his home in Serangoon Central .

On Tuesday (Jan 16), Tan, who faced 15 charges, was sentenced to eight weeks' jail and fined $600 after admitting to five charges of insulting the modesty of a woman and one of fraudulent possession of four pieces of women's underwear at his home.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau said that some time between August 2014 and January 2016, Tan insulted the modesty of women by taking upskirt photos which captured their panties, upper inner thighs and/or buttocks.

"The 35 upskirt photographs were not exhaustive of all the photographs he had taken, as he had already deleted some other upskirt photographs," she said.

Tan would target women wearing short skirts. On some occasions, he would pretend to bend down to pick up something from the floor or would be behind the woman climbing up the staircase.

He stopped taking upskirt photographs before he was enlisted into NS in May 2016.

He stated that he stopped his "foolish behaviour'' when he found out that he was enlisting into the Singapore Police Force for full-time NS.

He could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined for each count of insulting modesty. For fraudulent possession, he could have been fined up to $3,000 and/or jailed for up to one year.