An 18-year-old polytechnic student was convicted yesterday of taking upskirt photos and videos of women.
Clemence Koh Junxiang pleaded guilty to six charges of intending to outrage the modesty of a woman.
The Ngee Ann Polytechnic first-year-student was initially slapped with 62 charges - one of criminal trespass and 61 of intending to outrage the modesty of a woman.
The court heard that on Jan 30, Koh was in Pearls Centre at Eu Tong Sen Street when he decided to take indecent pictures.
On the third storey, he saw a woman walk into a toilet at about 6.45pm and followed her.
The 27-year-old woman cannot be named to protect her identity.
In the female toilet, Koh entered the cubicle beside the woman's and turned on the camera function of his Samsung Galaxy Note 4 mobile phone.
When he held the phone below the partition between the cubicles, the woman spotted it and ran out, calling her colleague for help.
They called the police and Koh was arrested on the spot.
It was only during investigations that the full extent of Koh's offences was revealed. A total of 173 photos and six videos, all upskirt shots, were retrieved from his phone and laptop.
The ones related to the six charges were taken from Dec 17, 2014 to Jan 30 this year.
Koh prowled mostly around the Chinatown area and his haunts included the Daiso shop and NTUC FairPrice in Chinatown Point, several mobile phone shops and art supply shops.
According to court documents, Koh would approach his victims and place his phone under the women's skirts or dresses to take pictures and videos. If he felt confident, he would squat down near them and do the same.
In mitigation, defence counsel Anil Lalwani said that Koh, who is the older of two children, was from a supportive middle-income family.
After he was caught in the Pearls Centre toilet, Koh's family took him to seek help at the Child Guidance Clinic to manage his impulse.
Mr Lalwani said that Koh first got a taste of upskirt shots on the Internet. The excitement he felt from the challenge of taking such pictures without the person knowing turned into an obsession.
Mr Lalwani said Jan 30 incident was the first time his client had gone into a female toilet. The pictures and videos were never uploaded and were purely for Koh's own satisfaction and achievement, his lawyer said.
In court, the bespectacled youth with short hair kept his head bowed, with his hands behind him.
Community Court Judge Lim Keng Yeow called for a probation report. Koh will next appear in court on July 6.
This article was first published on June 5, 2015.
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