SINGAPORE: A man was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Friday for taking up—skirt videos and attempting to film women in changing rooms.
Twenty—five—year—old Liow Yaw Vwee had pleaded guilty to one charge of insulting the modesty of a woman and two charges of attempting to insult the modesty of a woman.
Then a student in the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore, Liow tried to use his mobile phone to film a woman trying on clothes in the changing rooms of a garment shop at Parkway Parade Shopping Centre on 8 April 2010.
The unisex changing rooms were not totally covered as partitions between the cubicles extended only to calf level.
As the woman bent down to get her clothing and bag, she spotted a hand holding a mobile phone at an angle aiming into her cubicle. She reported the incident to the shop.
On 19 April, Liow returned to the shop and went into the changing room with three shirts.
A staff on duty recognised Liow as a peeping tom from the earlier incident.
She called him out of the changing room upon observing that he had put his haversack on the floor with a black and orange rectangular box on top of it.
He had cut a small hole on the box and inserted his mobile phone.
Liow admitted that he had intended to take photographs or videos of women undressing but did not press the record button as he was afraid of getting caught.
On another occasion on 11 August 2010, Liow used his mobile phone to record an up—skirt video of a woman as he stood behind her on an ascending escalator at Vivocity Shopping Mall.
Six other charges of filming up—skirt videos were also taken into consideration in the sentence passed.
The Deputy Public Prosecutor called for a deterrent sentence and said that the offences were serial in nature and affected multiple victims.
She added that modern technology was used, which allowed for repeated viewing.
In his mitigation plea, Liow’s lawyer said that Liow was a first offender and had committed the offences when he was briefly depressed over his failed relationships.
The defence also said that Liow’s prospective employer was willing to give him a chance if the jail sentence was not too long.
In sentencing, the District Judge said that the dominant consideration is deterrence and that a custodial sentence is warranted.
The maximum penalty for insulting the modesty of a woman is one year’s jail and a fine on each charge.
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