Ex-IMH worker who molested patients, videoed colleagues showering sentenced to jail and caning

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3 min read
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — A former worker of the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) was on Monday (28 December) sentenced to jail and caning after he was convicted of molesting patients, and recording videos of IMH staff changing and patients showering, and upskirt videos of staff and members of the public.

The Singaporean man was caught after a member of the public reported to the police that she suspected that she was a victim of voyeurism on 2 March this year. She was on an escalator at Canberra MRT station when she felt something touching her calf. When she turned around, she saw a man standing behind her holding a phone in his left hand.

Following his arrest, the police seized two phones from the man for forensic examination. The man’s personal details cannot be revealed to protect the identities of the victims.

The man was sentenced to a jail term of four years, nine months and a week, and 10 strokes of the cane.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of insulting a woman's modesty and two counts each of molestation and voyeurism. Thirty-four other similar offences were taken into consideration for sentencing.

One victim had responded to an online advertisement placed by the man. The advertisement sought out pregnant women who were interested in modelling for a pregnancy photoshoot. It indicated that models would be paid $10 after completing a photoshoot.

The accused told the victim that he was an IMH nurse, and that the photographs were for a presentation at IMH.

On 13 December last year, the victim met the man at Chinese Garden MRT station. The man brought the victim to a secluded area around Chinese Gardens but the victim felt uncomfortable.

They moved to a less secluded area in the vicinity. The man asked the victim to turn away from him while he filmed upskirt videos of the victim, who was unaware of his actions.

During investigations, the man’s supervisor at IMH informed the police that the man was not involved in any work-related presentation requiring him to conduct photoshoots of pregnant women.

In another incident, a doctor was performing her round of patient consultation. The man accompanied the doctor and took upskirt videos of her.

The man also took videos of two colleagues who were changing in the unisex staff changing room at IMH. He would stand on top of a chair placed near the door of cubicles where the victims were occupying, and film the victims changing their clothes.

For the offences involving the victims who were patients, the man had been assigned to the High Dependency Psychiatric Care Unit (HDPCU) of the IMH. The HDPCU housed patients who were severely mentally ill, actively disturbed, or who were suicidal.

The man would on occasion be asked to help out in the female ward at the HDPCU.

On two separate occasions in February, he recorded two patients showering in the toilet of the female ward by positioning his phone through the gap between the door and the floor.

One room in the HDPCU was designated for patients who would be brought there if they were found to be noisy or causing a disturbance in the ward.

While doing his round on 6 September last year, the man noticed a patient who was alone in the room and restrained to a bed. The patient was naked from the waist downwards. The man molested her on her private parts and recorded the act using his mobile phone.

On 21 November 2019, the man was on duty at the HDPCU when another patient, who had been aggressive, was administered by a nurse with sedation. The man later recorded himself pulling down a blanket covering the patient and exposing her private parts.

The man was diagnosed by a doctor with voyeuristic disorder at the time of the alleged offences. The doctor indicated in an IMH report that “there was no contributory link between his voyeuristic disorder and the alleged offences”.

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