Serial voyeur continues to take upskirt videos with phone in shoe after release from prison

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
A man wearing shoes (PHOTO: Getty Images)
A man wearing shoes. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Shortly after he was released from prison, a man returned to the same crime that got him placed behind bars. 

Tham Heng Yew again took upskirt videos of girls by cutting a hole in his shoe and inserting his mobile phone with its camera lens facing upward.

The 29-year-old was jailed for 10 months on Monday (15 November), after he pleaded guilty to an amalgamated charge of voyeurism involving five victims, with one charge of possessing the illicit films taken into consideration for his sentencing.

He had been sentenced to 44 weeks’ jail on 4 March last year, after pleading guilty to 30 charges of insulting a woman’s modesty, with 138 similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Mitigating in person, Tham told the court that he was depressed as he could not find a job after his release from prison.

Stopped from escaping by victim's boyfriend

On 21 January this year, Tham decided to go to Plaza Singapura to take upskirt videos. He used a pair of scissors to cut a hole in his left shoe, intending to place a phone within to take the videos.

At about 6pm, he went to the shopping mall's Daiso outlet as he thought the store would have a lot of women shoppers. He would then look out for women from their late 20s to 30s wearing skirts or dresses. When he found his target, he would slip his phone in his shoe with the camera lens facing upwards, and slide his left foot between the legs of the victim to record the videos.

At about 7.36pm, a woman was shopping at Daiso when she noticed that Tham had been following her for a while. She observed that his foot was always close to her feet, and eventually realised that there was a hole in his shoe with a camera lens in it. She informed her boyfriend, who told Daiso employees about the incident. 

Daiso staff called security as the woman's boyfriend followed Tham, who left upon noticing that he had raised the woman’s suspicion. He tried to flee through the stairwell of the mall but was detained by the victim’s boyfriend until police arrived.

Tham had deleted the illicit recordings while fleeing.

Remorseful and accepting of counselling

Addressing District Judge Lorraine Ho, Tham said he was “remorseful” for his actions.

“At that point in time of my life I was quite lost and quite down because of my (prison) release. I was unsuccessful in applying for a certain number of jobs. Because of that, I felt rather depressed which led me to acting out in my offences,” he said.

He has since accepted his counselling, which has helped his emotional and spiritual wellbeing. He added that he has been taking up food delivery part time to keep himself occupied and his “mind off unnecessary negative thoughts”.

DJ Ho noted that Tham had a pattern of offending when he stopped treatment, and advised him to “get out of the rut” and work towards getting employed instead.

“Take this time to have some upgrading of yourself so that you can get ready to come back to society, but most importantly you really need to be diligent in your treatment," she added

In sentencing Tham, DJ Ho said that his previous sentence was not enough to deter him from reoffending. “Unfortunately I think you have been quite experienced in committing this offence and that’s the worrying part that I see. It was because of the victim’s alertness that you were caught,” she said.

Under amendments to the Penal Code which took effect from 1 January last year, for voyeurism, an offender may be jailed up to two years, fined, caned, or with any combination of the penalties.

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