Former HDB director secretly filmed 'attractive' men in public places like supermarket, gyms

Osmond Chia
The Straits Times
August 30, 2022

A former director with the Housing Board loitered in communal changing rooms in gyms and public areas on multiple occasions to film nude men with his phone.

The crimes came to light after Leo Norman Chee Wei Kiong, 61, was caught in a supermarket in 2020 as he was trying to film an "attractive" man there. The man noticed Chee's camera pointing at him and confronted him.

The police were alerted and later found 146 obscene videos - excluding those he had filmed - on Chee's phone.

On Tuesday (Aug 30), Chee pleaded guilty to six charges for offences that include the filming of obscene footage and possession of obscene films. Another eight similar charges will be taken into consideration during his sentencing on Sept 9.

The court heard that Chee worked as a civil servant for more than 35 years and reached a high rank in a statutory board. The Straits Times understands that Chee was a housing finance director at HDB.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng listed in court multiple instances since 2012 where Chee filmed videos of men undressed.

On one occasion in December 2018, Chee recorded a 25-second video of an unknown man who was naked in the men's locker room at Safra Mount Faber. In January 2013, he took five pictures of another nude man in a locker room at an unspecified Safra clubhouse.

On two occasions in 2017 and 2019, Chee recorded a minute-long video of a man named Billy while they were at Chee's apartment. Billy was unclothed in both videos which were filmed for Chee's personal gratification, said the DPP.

Chee was caught in October 2020, when he noticed a man, who he thought was attractive, at a FairPrice supermarket in Kallang Bahru and filmed him on his phone. The man saw Chee and confronted him.

A supermarket employee called the police. Chee admitted to filming the video of the man and agreed to delete it.

As the man inspected Chee's phone to ensure the footage was removed, he saw several obscene videos of naked men and told the police, who seized the phone.

DPP Ng said: "(Chee) admitted to having a habit of using his mobile phone to film and take pictures of men he considered attractive. This took place in public places, gyms, and the communal changing rooms of gyms."

Chee also admitted to possessing 146 sexually explicit videos and photographs taken from the Internet for his own consumption, said the DPP.

Seeking two to three week's jail and a fine of up to $2,000, DPP Ng said that Chee had filmed men who were unaware. He noted that while Chee did not circulate the videos, there was a risk of accidental or intentional dissemination.

Defence lawyer Shashi Nathan, who sought no more than a week's jail for Chee, said that his client was a high-ranking civil servant but had resigned in order to spare the statutory board any embarrassment.

Mr Shashi said: "It was a painful decision as he gave up his career and everything although he wasn't convicted yet. It shows the kind of person he is."

He asked District Judge Kessler Soh for compassion so that Chee can resume living his life again and look after his mother who is unwell.

Judge Soh said he needed more time to consider the verdict, adding that he was more persuaded by the prosecution's argument. He extended Chee's bail and adjourned the case to Sept 9.