Malaysian man gets jail, fine for secretly filming men in toilet cubicles
Share this article
SINGAPORE, Dec 7 — He would go to the toilets of malls located along Orchard Road to take videos and photos of men in the cubicles. There was nudity in at least 40 of the images and footages, as well as obscene acts captured.
Yesterday, 27-year-old Colin Teo Han Jern was jailed 10 weeks and fined S$4,000 (RM12,109), after he admitted to five counts of making an obscene film, four counts of being a public nuisance, and one more count of possessing an obscene film
Another 30 counts of similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Teo, a Malaysian sales executive with a pharmaceutical company, committed the offences on 12 separate dates between March 8 and Sept 9 last year. There were at least 33 victims.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jesintha Veijayaratnam told the court that Teo would enter a toilet cubicle and place his mobile phone over the partition to capture his victims in the adjacent cubicles.
He was finally caught when one man noticed the phone and grabbed it. Shocked to see photos of himself urinating, he deleted the images.
The victim, who cannot be named due to a gag order, also saw obscene videos of other men in toilet cubicles, and reported Teo to the concierge at Paragon mall. The police were then alerted.
Of the obscene videos found in his possession, there were two recorded when Teo was in Japan.
DPP Yvonne Poon told the court that there was a “danger of dissemination” of the recordings he possessed. “(He) had recorded the moment, which he consciously decided to keep (with) him,” she added.
The prosecution, led by DPP Poon, called for a six-month jail term on grounds that the videos were akin to “insulting the modesty” of the male victims, but District Judge Kenneth Yap declined to draw reference to modesty.
The court heard that there are no provisions in the law for the insult of a man’s modesty. Noting that Teo was charged for offences under the Films Act, District Judge Yap said that such a matter “is for Parliament to decide”, and he would not be relying on modesty-related arguments.
In mitigation, Teo’s lawyer Chua Eng Hui said that his client had “immediately sought help after his arrest”, going for counselling and seeking treatment. Teo, who was in court with his family yesterday, “deeply regrets” his actions, Chua said.
In sentencing Teo, District Judge Yap said that the lack of consent was most aggravating in this case and a custodial sentence would be in order.
While Teo did not circulate the videos he took and kept them on his phone, the judge reminded him that these offences were not “private”.
“Even if you don’t know them… there is a risk… one day you will lose your phone, and (these images) will be leaked,” he said, adding that “there will be embarrassment” if faces are revealed.
“I don’t think you have considered (these factors) when you took these videos. I hope you learn from this,” he told Teo.
The prosecution is considering appealing against the sentence. It will be deferred until Dec 13, when the prosecution will inform the court of its decision.
For making an obscene film, Teo could have been jailed up to two years, and/or fined between S$20,000 and S$40,000 for each charge. For possessing such films, the maximum penalty is a S$1,000 fine for each film, and/or a 12-month jail term. —TODAY