Engineer jailed for upskirt offences

Engineer jailed for upskirt offences
Teh Thian Seng was jailed for three weeks. He was also fined $8,500 for having 17 obscene video films.

An engineer who took "upskirt" videos of unsuspecting women on escalators at shopping malls and MRT stations was jailed for three weeks yesterday.

Malaysian Teh Thian Seng, 51, who has since left his job, was also fined $8,500 for having 17 obscene video films at his Hougang flat in 2012. Teh, who faced nine charges, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of insulting modesty and one under the Films Act. The rest were considered during sentencing.

Teh, a Singapore permanent resident, started taking upskirt videos of women using the video-recording function of his mobile phone sometime in February that year, investigations showed.

He would go behind unsuspecting women and position the phone underneath their skirts for a few seconds. He usually struck at the escalators of crowded shopping malls, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeremy Lua.

At about 1pm on Aug 25 in 2012, Teh got off work at a worksite in Suntec City and went to City Hall MRT station where he filmed an upskirt video of a woman. He even captured her facial features by following her while she was engrossed on her phone.

He later went to Ngee Ann City and committed a similar offence at the underground passage to Wisma Atria. A man saw the incident and followed Teh, who later stopped to look at the video on his phone. The witness confronted him and called the police.

DPP Lua had argued that a jail sentence was warranted for such offences given their severity and public interest. There were also aggravating factors.

Teh was diagnosed with paraphilia, or intense sexual arousal sparked by unusual situations, objects or individuals, by an Institute of Mental Health doctor, who also found him to be suffering from clinical depression.

DPP Lua said Teh's paraphilia was not an impulse control disorder like kleptomania but a form of sexual deviance. "There is nothing in the diagnosis to suggest that when a person is diagnosed with paraphilia disorder, he or she has problems controlling his or her impulses," he added.

Teh, represented by Mr Louis Joseph, could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined for each charge of insulting modesty.

elena@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 26, 2014.
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