Temasek Polytechnic student, 24, jailed for filming woman, 40, in shower

The student said that he was feeling stressed about his financial situation and his relationship problems with his girlfriend.

Andrew Koay| October 21, 09:00 PM

Feeling stressed about various problems he was facing, a polytechnic student decided to alleviate his anxiety by filming a woman showering.

However, the student, whose name has been redacted from court documents, only succeeded in compounding his misery.

On Oct. 21, 2019, the 24-year-old found himself sentenced to seven weeks' jail after he was caught filming the 40-year-old tenant who was living in his grandmother's home.

The victim — a Malaysian working in Singapore — had seen the man's phone peering over the top of the toilet door.

Feeling stressed

Court documents showed that the student would stay at his grandmother's house on Mondays and Tuesdays due to its proximity to Temasek Polytechnic, where he was studying.

At about 8:30pm on May 14, 2019, the student's grandmother was out seeing a doctor.

This left him in the house with the tenant, who was taking a shower in the kitchen toilet.

Feeling "stressed about his financial situation and his relationship problems with his girlfriend", the man "felt the urge to take a video of the victim showering".

He then approached the washroom's foldable door — which did not extend fully to the ceiling — and perched his arm, which was holding his phone, over the top of the door.

The polytechnic student then used the camera function on his phone to record a video of the tenant fully naked and showering.

Sensed something was amiss

Around five minutes later, the tenant sensed that something was amiss and she looked around spotting the student's mobile phone on top of the door and pointed towards her.

She quickly directed the showerhead at the mobile phone, spraying water at it.

This prompted the student — who realised he'd been caught — to retract his hand.

The tenant stopped showering and quickly put on her clothes, before exiting the toilet and going to her room to calm herself down.

She then called the police while the student stood outside her door knocking and asking for another chance.

The police subsequently arrived at the house, where the man admitted to taking a video of the woman showering.

Police seized the man's mobile phone, his laptop, laptop charger.

"Fully intrusive"

According to CNA, the polytechnic student was unrepresented in court when he pleaded guilty to one charge of intruding upon the victim's privacy with the intention to insult her modesty.

District Judge Adam Nakhoda asked him if he wished to engage a lawyer to help with mitigation, but he declined.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Samuel Lim sought at least eight weeks' jail for the polytechnic student.

Lim argued that while the man did not save the video, he knew the victim as she was his grandmother's tenant.

Lim also noted that as the tenant was "showering fully unclothed" the student's actions were "fully intrusive".

Court documents stated that the tenant intended to move out of the house due to the discomfort of living there.

Asking for another chance

CNA reported that the man spoke softly in court and was prompted by the court interpreter to speak up.

"I know that I did something wrong," he said.

"I only wish to have a chance because I finally have a chance to get into poly to further my studies and I don't want to miss that opportunity."

Feeling that some of the factors in a similar case cited by the prosecution were "more egregious than the current case", the judge sentenced the polytechnic student to seven weeks' jail instead of eight.

While his laptop and charger were returned, the polytechnic student had to forfeit his phone.

For intruding upon the privacy of a woman to insult her modesty, he could have been jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.

Top image from Cláudia Back via Unsplash