S'porean who filmed voyeuristic videos of women jailed, fined

He was a student at a top British university when he recorded some of the clips

A Singaporean student who took voyeuristic videos while studying at a top British university was yesterday jailed for a year in what the prosecution described as "arguably one of the most premeditated cases of voyeurism to come before the courts".

Colin Chua Yi Jin, 24, who filmed multiple victims including 11 identified ones - while he was in junior college and doing national service here, and then as an undergraduate - was also fined $2,500, after pleading guilty last July to seven counts of insulting the modesty of women and one charge under the Films Act.

The gag order on his identity was lifted last year after his victims pushed for it. This took place after Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon upheld a lower court decision. In September, CJ Menon said a gag order has "nothing to do with the benefit of accused persons".

Other details that could reveal the victims' identities, including the name of his university and their relationship with him, remain sealed.

Chua's first victim was 18 when he recorded her showering in a hotel room toilet in the wee hours of Dec 2, 2015, following a gathering.

In early 2016, the principal of the junior college told her a clip of the incident had been circulating online and the police were alerted.

Other places Chua hid cameras included a toilet in his home, when he held gatherings. One victim was 19 years old when he secretly filmed her relieving herself in December 2016 when she was at his home.

After receiving multiple reports between early 2016 and June 2019, police identified Chua as the main suspect. They raided his home in July 2019, and forensic analysis later uncovered 16 offending videos and 124 upskirt photos from devices that were confiscated from him.

At a proceeding last July, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhi Hao said: "In total, he (Chua) estimated that the number of voyeuristic videos he had filmed was 'maybe three digits'. He would commit the offences when he felt stressed from school or work."

Yesterday, the prosecution urged the court to sentence Chua to at least 13 months' jail and be given a fine of $3,500.

In their submissions, DPPs Tan and Ng Shao Yan said Chua's offences had caused the victims prolonged psychological trauma, and they continue to grapple with the consequences of his conduct.

Defence lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan pleaded for Chua to be given nine months' jail, stressing that he was below 21 when he committed the bulk of his offences.

It was not mentioned in court if Chua is still studying at the British university.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline S'porean who filmed voyeuristic videos of women jailed, fined. Subscribe