Man covers head with towel to avoid being recognised on CCTV and films women showering at Republic Poly swimming complex

Elena Chong
The Straits Times
June 15, 2016

A man covered his head with a towel to avoid being recognised on security camera footage; he then entered and hid in a female shower room cubicle at the Republic Polytechnic's swimming complex on Nov 8 last year.

A short while later, two women came to take their showers.

After they had entered their respective cubicles, the man, Ang Wei Sheng, 23, an assistant service manager, went to the cubicle next to the one occupied by a 25-year-old accountant.

He placed his smartphone under the divider and recorded the woman showering.

She shouted when she saw the phone, which had a red light flashing on it. Ang quickly withdrew the device and fled from the shower room. He deleted the 40-second clip shortly after the incident.

A court heard that Ang had also trespassed into the female shower room and peeked at an unknown woman showering for about 10 seconds. But he did not record any video on that occasion.

A property executive of the polytechnic reported to the police on Nov 26 following several incidents of an unknown man covering up CCTV cameras with plastic bags and entering female shower facilities. Despite his attempts to mask his identity, the police still managed to track him down through studying CCTV footage. He was arrested on Dec 3.

On Wednesday (June 15), Ang, who graduated from RP in 2013, was jailed for 10 weeks after admitting to criminal trespass and insulting the modesty of a woman.

Two other charges of criminal trespass were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon submitted that Ang had carried out the offences with a degree of planning and pre-meditation.

He had intentionally covered the CCTV camera with plastic bags to obscure footage, used a towel to disguise himself, and even gone to the extent of protecting his phone with a plastic bag while filming in the wet conditions of the shower.

The degree of intrusion was very high as his victim was captured in full nudity, she said.

Responding to Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas) Fellow Cheryl Ng's point in her mitigation that Ang did not use a camcorder which captures images of better quality, DPP Poon said in this era of smartphones, the video quality of footage taken by a mobile device can be just as good if not better than a camcorder.

Ang could have been jailed for up to one year and fined for insulting the modesty of a woman. The maximum penalty for criminal trespass is three months' jail and a $500 fine.

The Straits Times

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