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The Straits Times
Feb 9, 2022
In an attempt to record videos of his female colleagues in the toilet, the head of technology at a company planted a camera in one of the cubicles in the women's toilet at work.
But, according to Balasingam-Chow Yu Hui's lawyer, this was done in such an "amateurish fashion" that the camera, which had rainbow stripes on its side and was fixed to the white ceiling using Blu Tack and Scotch tape, fell to the floor within half an hour of being attached.
No footage of his colleagues relieving themselves was found on the camera.
On Wednesday (Feb 9), Balasingam-Chow was sentenced to 10 days' jail for one count of attempting to insult the modesty of a colleague and another of criminal trespass.
The court heard that at 8.30am on June 25, 2019, Balasingam-Chow, 44, installed the pinhole video camera, which he bought online a month before, in the women's toilet at work.
At about 9am, a colleague entered the toilet and noticed a cube on the floor by a cubicle door.
She picked up the object, left the toilet and asked her colleagues, including Balasingam-Chow, who was "skilled in technology", if the camera belonged to anyone.
But no one owned up, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Heershan Kaur.
When another colleague was about to plug the camera into a computer to view its contents, Balasingam-Chow confessed that he had placed the camera in the toilet.
He was inspired to do so after watching videos on websites such as YouTube, the court heard.
Five video clips were found in the camera, including one of Balasingam-Chow installing the camera in the toilet.
None of the clips captured women relieving themselves.
Balasingam-Chow was represented by lawyer Chia Boon Teck, who told the court in mitigation that his client's offence was committed in an "amateurish fashion beyond belief".
"The camera was black in colour with rainbow stripes on the side. It was stuck to the ceiling, which is white coloured, with Blu Tack and Scotch tape. Anyone looking up at the ceiling cannot possibly miss the camera sticking out like a sore thumb," he said.
He called the crime a "victimless crime", and added that his client has voluntarily sought counselling at the Institute of Mental Health's National Addiction Management Service since July 2019.
DPP Kaur objected to Mr Chia's description of the offence as a "victimless crime" saying that it was "purely fortuitous" that the camera was found by the colleague.
District Judge Lim Wen Juin agreed that the offence was committed in an amateurish fashion but found that this was not a mitigating factor.
For insulting a woman's modesty, Balasingam-Chow could have been jailed for up to a year or fined, or both. He could have been jailed for up to three months, fined up to $1,500, or both for criminal trespass.