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Serial upskirter at it for 10 years strikes again, hiding phone in shoe

LaksaNews

Myth
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SINGAPORE: A serial upskirter who has been filming victims for 10 years struck again barely a year after being released from his latest jail term.

Tham Heng Yew, 31, cut another hole in his shoe and placed his phone in it to record videos before walking around a train station and a mall.

However, he was caught when a victim's friend spotted his suspicious behaviour and confronted him, causing him to flee in panic.

Tham pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism on Tuesday (Nov 28).

The court heard that Tham was last sentenced to 10 months' jail in November 2021 for similar offences.

On May 26 this year, he felt the urge to take voyeuristic videos again and made preparations.

He chose a pair of shoes and cut a hole in the left one. He tested the placement of the hole by inserting his spare phone into the modified shoe, with the camera lens facing up.

Tham then placed the footwear into a bag and set off for Jurong East MRT Station, where he slid the phone in the shoe before wearing it.

He walked around filming women, picking his targets before positioning his foot under their skirts.

He did so 11 times, taking videos of at least 12 women near the train station at Jem shopping mall.

Tham then went to a supermarket at the mall and targeted a 29-year-old woman.

However, the victim's friend noticed Tham placing his foot under the victim's skirt and asked him what he was doing.

Tham panicked and fled, with the victim's friend giving chase and shouting for Tham to stop. He was eventually detained by a passer-by outside the mall.

Tham admitted his acts and asked the victim's friend, who was also a woman, to give him a chance.

The woman called the police, who arrested Tham.

He told investigators that he had taken the videos despite knowing it was an offence as he was feeling depressed.

He said he wanted "to do acts that were thrilling enough to help him to reduce his stress and anxiety", and he found voyeurism thrilling and felt excited when viewing the videos.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay asked for 15 to 18 months' jail for Tham.

Tham has two previous convictions - in November 2021 and March 2020.

The March 2020 conviction included more than a hundred charges.

DOING THIS SINCE 2013: PROSECUTOR​


"Essentially, he has been doing this exact same scheme since 2013," said Mr Tay.

"What we have is an offender who is clearly recalcitrant. The gap in time between the reoffending behaviour is also short."

He said Tham would have been released from his latest jail term of 10 months in mid-2022, which meant he reoffended after about a year.

Mr Tay said the modus operandi in this case was quite sophisticated, with premeditation as he had to cut a hole in his shoe and make sure the camera could record videos through the hole.

In mitigation, Tham, who was unrepresented, said he was very remorseful.

"Like what was mentioned, actually I was going through a very rough time for the past at least five years because of this voyeuristic disorder that I'm facing," he said.

"Ever since that day, I've been struggling with regrets and I wish that I had done something else instead to cope with my emotions."

He said he would accept the consequences, but planned to ask for a psychologist during his sentence.

"When I'm out, I plan on seeking treatment as I really do not wish for this issue to linger any longer than it already has, as it has affected my life very negatively," said Tham. "I wish to change and not offend anymore."

The judge asked for further submissions on sentencing and adjourned the case to December.

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