IPOH: A homestay operator here who filmed his guests nude in the bathroom three years ago has been fined RM10,000 by a magistrate’s court after he admitted to the offence.
Lim Lai Heng, 45, had last November been acquitted and discharged of insulting the modesty of eight guests – five of whom were female – aged between 17 and 53 at the time of the incident.
Lim was accused of installing a mini CCTV hidden in an upstairs bathroom at Ipoh Garden Homestay at 31, Jalan Pekeliling Tasek, Canning Garden between 2.30pm and 11.30pm on July 27, 2014.
He claimed trial to the charges under Section 509 of the Penal Code in November 2014.
Following an appeal by the prosecution last Friday, the High Court here ordered Lim to enter his defence.
He pleaded guilty when the case was called up before magistrate Siti Salwa Ja’afar yesterday.
Earlier, DPP Nurul Azriah Zaid told the court that Lim’s admission of guilt should not be considered a mitigating factor as it had come too late.
“The accused did not plead guilty at the first opportunity but two years and 10 months after,” she said in pressing for a jail sentence to be imposed.
According to Nurul Azriah, the incident has left a black mark on the victims’ lives.
“The faces of the victims were clearly seen in the recordings.
“One victim was especially traumatised. She was crying when the recording was shown in court during the trial,” Nurul Azriah said, adding that Lim had made preparations by placing the CCTV strategically facing the shower cubicle.
Lim’s actions, she said, created fear among would-be customers of homestays and affected the industry as a whole, adding that letting him off on a mere fine would not serve public interest.
Defence counsel Dexter Mah told the court that his client was a first-time offender and ought to be given a second chance.
“It’s a silly, stupid mistake. Who hasn’t made a mistake?” he asked.
Mah added that Lim has suffered financially in the past few years as a result of his actions.
Did you find this article insightful?