Singaporean jailed for installing CCTV camera at home toilet to record helper showering

Over a few days, an employer spied on his foreign domestic helper while she was bathing, using a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera he had secretly installed.

His offences came to light after the spy camera fell while the 28-year-old Filipino worker was in the toilet.

On Tuesday, the man, a 63-year-old Singaporean, was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail after pleading guilty to three counts of voyeurism.

One related charge was taken into consideration during the sentencing.

The names of all parties cannot be published under a court order to protect the identity of the victim.

The court heard that the man installed the camera in the common toilet in his home sometime in June 2023, without the knowledge of his wife or the victim. This became the subject of the charge taken into consideration during sentencing.

This device was in addition to four other CCTV cameras installed in the hall, kitchen, the victim’s bedroom and the master bedroom that his wife and helper were aware of.

The accused was able to download and save the footage from these cameras using an application on his mobile phone.

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On June 23 and 24, the man recorded and saved in his mobile phone video footage of the victim in the shower.

The victim’s naked body could be seen in both recordings and part of her face was also visible in the first recording.

On the morning of June 25 after taking a shower, the victim noticed something fall into the toilet sink.

She realised that it was a CCTV camera but as she was in a rush that morning, she did not check whether the device was recording and left it in the toilet.

That evening, the victim took a shower in the same toilet and noticed the camera had been reattached to the toilet’s ceiling and the device had a blinking red light.

“The victim grew increasingly worried about being recorded while she was using the toilet and eventually decided to call the police that evening,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Janice See.

After the employer was arrested and the phone was seized, footage of the victim showering on June 23 and 24, as well as her preparing to take a shower on June 25, was found in the device.

Seeking a jail term of between 10 and 15 weeks, DPP See argued that the offence involved a “high degree of premeditation”, with the accused deliberately installing the camera in the common toilet.

The man also committed the offence against a “particularly vulnerable class of victim”, namely a domestic helper living in his home.

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“His actions amount to a clear breach of trust which the victim placed in him, and the safe living environment which she was entitled to expect while working for the accused and his family,” said the prosecutor.

There was also a risk of potential harm arising from the fact that the accused could view the recordings repeatedly for his own pleasure and potentially circulate them, added DPP See.

In delivering her decision, District Judge Kamala Ponnampalam told the accused that the victim was “essentially at your mercy” in terms of her living arrangement.

That the accused “exploited” this fact was a significant aggravating factor, the judge added.

The judge granted a deferment of the jail sentence to February 13 so that the accused could celebrate Lunar New Year with his family.

For each count of voyeurism, the man could have been sentenced to a fine, a jail term of up to two years, caning or any combination of the three punishments.

This story was first published by Today Online

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