Chee Kin Seng v Public Prosecutor

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeZainol Abeedin B Hussin
Judgment Date31 December 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 55
Citation[2000] SGDC 55
Published date19 September 2003


Grounds of Decision

1. The accused, a Software Engineer, was tried on the following charge for criminal trespass into a cubicle inside the ladies toilet at his place of employment:

DAC 25119 of 2000 (P1)


Chee Kin Seng, Male 24 years

FIN No: 2225355R

(Date of Birth: 3.4.1976)

are charged that you on the 23rd of June 2000, at or about 6.01 pm, at No. 10 Ang Mo Kio Street 65, Tech Point, Singapore, did commit criminal trespass to wit, by entering the cubicle in the ladies toilet located at the 4th level near to #04-11, with intent to cause annoyance to Aw Soke Quin I/C No: S1791412Z and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 447 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

2. He was found guilty, convicted and sentenced to two weeks imprisonment on 31.8.2000. He served his sentence until 7.9.2000, when he lodged the Notice of Appeal only against his conviction. He did not apply for bail pending his appeal. He had completed his two weeks term by 13.10.2000.

3. It was not disputed that the accused and Aw Soke Quin, referred to in the charge (PW2), were both employed by National Computer Systems Pte Ltd ("NCS") located on the 4th level of Tech Point building. The accused joined NCS as a Software Engineer on 1.7.1999, whereas PW2, also known as Susan, was the NCS receptionist since 4.1.1999. Although they knew each other as working for different departments in the same company and on the same level of Tech Point, they apparently have not spoken to each other until the date of the incident. There was also no dispute that the accused did go into the cubicle in the ladies toilet on the date and time specified. He was confronted by PW2 and her female colleagues as he came out of the said cubicle in their presence. The prosecutions case was that the accused went into the cubicle to peep at PW2, who was in the next cubicle, as she was changing out of her uniform after work. The defence version was that the accused had mistakenly gone into the cubicle in the ladies toilet because he was in a haste to relieve himself from his diarrhoea which he had suffered since lunch that day. There was also no question that the ladies toilet was adjacent to and separate from the gents toilet at the 4th level of Tech Point. The ladies toilet at the 4th level was further down the corridor as a person proceeds from NCS to the toilets. This was represented in the photographs P3 at pages 2 and 3. According to the defence, the accused was mistaken also because he has also used the 6th level toilets, where the order was that the ladies toilet was located first and the gents toilet was further down the corridor (photographs P3 pages 7 and 8). The prosecutions version was that the accused had gone into the female toilet cubicle intending to peep at PW2, who was in the next cubicle (photograph P3 page 5), by using a mirror placed on his shoe. The accused denied having a mirror with him. There was no dispute that the mirror which seen by PW2 from her cubicle, was not found, despite several searches on the accuseds body, his bag and in the toilets that evening.


4. PW1, the Investigation Officer produced the first information report, P2 which showed that on 23.6.2000, at about 6.00 pm, there was a call to the police stating that "The guy went into the ladies toilet". PW1 carried out investigations and he produced the photographs P3 and the plan, P5 showing the "layout of 4th level of Tech Point showing National Computer Systems Pte Ltd on the right" (page 4 of the NE). The ladies toilet in question was highlighted in green on P5 and was used by the staff and public alike. PW1 testified that photograph 2, showed "the 4th storey corridor leading to the male and female toilets located on the left side of the corridor as you look into the picture". Photograph 3 showed that, towards the end of the corridor, the gents toilet was located before the ladies toilet. Photograph 8 showed the corridor leading to the 6th level toilet and photograph 7 was the close up view of the end of this corridor showing that the ladies toilet was located before the gents toilet. PW1 confirmed that, comparing page 3 with page 7 of the photographs P3, this was the reverse order of the toilets on the 4th level.

5. Photograph 4 showed the inside of the ladies toilet on the 4th level, showing three cubicles on the left. According to PW1, "the accused was occupying the centre cubicle while the complainant occupied the very last one". Photograph 6 was "the close up view of the two toilets, one occupied by complainant and the other occupied by the accused" (page 3 of the NE). The photograph at page 5 of P3 showed the cubicle, which the accused was in. PW1 took the measurement of the gap "from floor upwards to the bottom of the partition" separating the adjoining cubicles. The gap "was 11.2 cm or 4.5 inches" (page 3 of the NE). PW1 confirmed that he went into the female toilet himself and he saw "no urinals in the female toilet outside the cubicles" (page 4 of the NE).

6. PW2, ("the complainant") testified that she had been working for NCS since 4.1.99 as a receptionist. She wore uniform during her work. It was her habit to change into her uniform before starting work and to change out of her uniform after her work. She changed inside the ladies toilet outside the NCS office, not in the internal toilet (pages 8 and 14 of the NE). She confirmed that P3, page 3 showed "the male and female toilet with facility for disabled" situated on the fourth level and that page 2 showed the "fourth level leading to the toilets on the left side". The female toilet was "further away from the viewer" as shown in P3 page 3.

7. On 23.6.2000, at about 6.00 pm, PW2 was changing into her uniform, after her work, inside the "last cubicle on the left-hand side" of the ladies toilet on the fourth level. She identified the cubicle that she was in that evening, as the last cubicle on the left row beside the one for the handicapped as reflected in P3 photograph 4 (page 9 of the NE). She went inside the cubicle to change "for privacy".

8. When PW2 entered the ladies toilet, she did not "see anyone outside the cubicles". She stated that she then "entered the last cubicle and changed into my pair of jeans from my full uniform, a skirt into a jeans". She then heard a sound and related that, when she "looked down, I saw a mirror attached flatly on a pair of black shoes just one of the shoes" (page 9 of the NE). She saw this mirror only for a "few seconds" (page 21 of the NE). It was "placed on a shoe" (page 9 of the NE).

9. Under re-examination, PW2 explained how she could see the shoe:

"Q: Was the shoe protruding into your cubicle at the time?

A: It wasnt protruding into my cubicle.

Q: From where you were, you looked down and saw the shoes in the adjacent cubicle.

A: Yes, I did" (page 21 of the NE).

10. Defence Counsel was permitted to question PW2 after the above re-examination and she explained how she managed to see the mirror:

"Q: You saw the mirror on the black shoe?

A: Yes.

Q: You were changing at that time?

A: Yes.

Q: Cubicle is quite small?

A: Big enough.

Q: Were you seated?

A: Standing up.

Q: Upright?

A: Upright.

Q: All along?

A: No.

Q: When did you see the black shoes?

A: When I removed my skirt.

Q: The shoe and mirror did not protrude into your cubicle?

A: They did not" (pages 22 and 23 of the NE).

It was never put forward to PW2 that she did not see any mirror on the shoe or that the accused had no mirror with him when he was in the cubicle next to hers.

11. I noted PW1s evidence that the partition, separating the cubicle which PW2 was in from the next cubicle, started from "11.2 cm or 4.5 inches" above the floor. There was a gap through which PW2 could probably see the shoe from her cubicle. The learned DPP sought further clarification from PW2 as to how she could have seen it:

"Q: Can you clarify what you meant by not being upright all along?

A: I had to bend when I used my skirt.

Q: Where were you facing when you bent?

A: The floor" (page 23 of the NE).

It could be inferred that PW2 had seen the mirror on the shoe in the next cubicle through the continuous gap below the toilet partition, as she was bending down to put on her skirt.

12. PW2 could give a consistent account of the shape, size and colour of the mirror. In evidence-in-chief, she stated:

"It was a round mirror with pink border. I do not know the dimension, it was about this big (witness showed a circle formed with her two hands). About cm in diameter". (page 9 of the NE).

Under cross-examination, she confirmed:

"Q: Describe the mirror.

A: Round mirror with pink border.

Q: How thick?

A: Round mirror with pink border placed flat on the black shoe" (page 15 of the NE).

This went uncontradicted.

13. PW2 continued her evidence-in-chief that when she "saw the mirror, my sense told me that something was not right"; that "something was wrong"; and that she "felt angry" (pages 10 and 12 of the NE). She finished changing from her uniform, she "came out of the ladies cubicle and walked to the ladies doorway, the entrance to the ladies toilet". She did not see anyone outside the cubicles in the ladies toilet when she came out of her cubicle. It was when she "went to the doorway and spotted a female colleague", Dawn Kng (PW3) that she called out to her. At that time, PW3 was walking towards the lift. PW3 came over to PW2. At the same time, another female colleague of PW2, Fannie Nio (PW4) "was on her way to the female toilet" and was also with PW2 and PW3. PW2 "whispered to them that there is a peeping tom inside the toilet".

PW3 and PW4 went into the ladies toilet and, together with PW2, they "stood outside the cubicle, which was occupied and waited outside". PW2 confirmed that they waited outside the centre cubicle shown in P3, photograph 4, the cubicle to the right of the one for the disabled (page 10 of the NE).

14. Under cross-examination,...

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