Jailed: Man who went through female shorts at NTU hall ‘to relieve stress’

·3 min read
Piles of clothing in front of washing machines
Piles of clothing in front of washing machines (PHOTO: Getty Images).

SINGAPORE — After an argument with his fiancee, a man rode his motorcycle to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and rummaged through laundry belonging to a woman at a residential hall.

Poh Wee Lee was jailed for six weeks and fined $1,000 on Friday (28 January), after his lawyer said in mitigation that his client had depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation.

However, Poh, 33, had been found unsuitable for a mandatory treatment order, which would have seen him getting psychiatric treatment in lieu of jail time. He had been diagnosed with adjustment disorder affecting his impulse control, judgment and mental abilities.

Poh's lawyer Jared Chen said that Poh had been stressed over work, finances and his wedding with his then-girlfriend, who is now his wife. He had frequent quarrels with his then-girlfriend over the issues.

The prosecution reiterated its call for six to eight weeks' jail for the voyeurism charge, and a short jail term for the charge of trespass.

In an earlier hearing, Poh had pleaded guilty to one count each of voyeurism and trespass. One count of possessing an obscene film was taken into consideration for his sentencing.

Wanted to see colourful, striking shorts

On 9 October 2020, after ending work at about 12.30am, Poh was feeling frustrated over an argument with his fiancee and wanted to take a breather. He rode his motorcycle to NTU and walked towards one of its residential halls.

Some 15 minutes later, he reached the laundry room of the hall by walking up a grass slope. He slipped in through an open door, even though he knew that it was only open to residents. While there, he sat in between the washing machines and saw one in operation. After the washing machine stopped, he opened the machine.

Poh was stressed and thought he could relax by looking at female shorts, particularly striking or colourful shorts. He rummaged through the laundry to take a closer look.

At about 2.30am, the owner of the laundry, a 22-year-old student, went to collect her clothes only to see Poh rummaging through them. Poh saw the woman and ran towards the back of the laundry room in a panic. The woman then texted two of her male friends to come over.

As Poh walked out of the room, the woman and her friends shouted “oi” at him, causing him to flee. The trio gave chase and managed to detain Poh, before calling a security officer for help. The police were then notified.

After Poh was arrested, two of his handphones were sent for forensic examination. One of his phones had a 40-second Facebook video of a woman, a 20-year-old NTU student removing her shirt and bra in her room.

This video was taken on 15 September last year, when Poh had gone to the hall alone between 11pm and midnight. He chanced upon the woman changing her clothes and recorded her in the private act.

After recording the act, Poh moved the video to a “Facebook video” folder in his mobile phone to hide it.

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