SINGAPORE: A National University of Singapore (NUS) student who had been taking upskirt videos of women for four months was caught by an observant schoolmate who notified both the dean and the police.
Luah Chao Zhi, 23, was sentenced to eight weeks' jail on Tuesday (Mar 24) after pleading guilty to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty, with another three charges taken into consideration.
He was found with 31 upskirt videos of 27 women taken between April and August last year at places including NUS and Haw Par Villa MRT station.
The court heard that Luah was in his third year of study for a degree in business administration at NUS at the time of the offences.
He began taking upskirt clips on Apr 24 last year and continued for about four months, until Aug 23, 2019, when a schoolmate noticed him.
The schoolmate alighted from a train at Haw Par Villa MRT station at about 9.40am that day.
She was taking the escalator when she noticed Luah in front of her. Luah was standing behind another woman, who was wearing a dress.
SCHOOLMATE OBSERVED LUAH'S MOVES
The schoolmate noticed Luah fidgeting with his phone before placing it into his pocket and suspected that he was taking upskirt photos of the woman in the dress.
She decided to follow Luah, trailing him to another escalator where she watched him take out a clear plastic folder from his backpack and place it below the same victim's dress.
When she saw this, the schoolmate deliberately walked up the escalator behind Luah in a loud manner.
When he heard the sounds, Luah removed his folder from under the victim's dress, but put it back again seconds later.
The schoolmate continued observing Luah as all three parties walked towards a bus stop near the station and took a bus to NUS Business School.
The schoolmate saw Luah loitering at the first floor of the school and continuing to follow the victim to a staircase, where he tried to place the folder under her dress again.
He did not succeed as there were others behind him, and the schoolmate left to inform the faculty's dean about what she had seen.
She lodged an electronic police report that same day and Luah was traced through closed-circuit television footage.
His home was raided and his phone and laptop seized, as well as the plastic folder. Upskirt clips of the woman in the dress were found in his devices.
Forensic screenings of the devices uncovered 31 upskirt videos, and Luah admitted to recording them with his phone. He said he did not know any of the victims.
Defence lawyer John Koh of Populus Law had asked for four weeks' jail, saying that his client is deeply remorseful and realises that he has made a mistake.
He said Luah has been expelled from NUS after a disciplinary hearing, and that both his parents are retirees and dependent on him for support.
Mr Koh cited a report from the Institute of Mental Health, saying that Luah has been diagnosed with adjustment disorder with depressed mood and a paraphilic interest or voyeurism.
He said Luah is a first-time offender and took steps to be referred to a psychiatrist and psychologist, and is currently undergoing psychotherapy.
For each charge of insulting a woman's modesty, he could have been jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.
Reporters has contacted NUS for more information.