Jailed: Construction worker who had more than 1,200 obscene videos
A worker from Bangladesh was jailed for six months after he was found with more than 1,000 obscene films on his phones.
Yesterday, Zahidul, 35, who goes by one name, pleaded guilty to possession of child abuse material and transmission of obscene material. A charge under the Films Act was taken into consideration.
The police received information on June 22 from Interpol that Zahidul had shared two child porn videos.
He was arrested at 3.55pm on June 30 and his two phones containing 1,321 videos were seized.
Of the videos, 1,290 were found to be obscene, including 83 featuring children aged one to 14 years old.
In 2017, Zahidul clicked on a Facebook link and was taken to a WhatsApp group that shared obscene material.
The court was told he became addicted and sought out more of such groups to join.
On Nov 9, 2017, he shared two videos he downloaded from one group with another group.
Yesterday, Zahidul, who was not represented, initially claimed he did not watch the videos or knew what they were but wanted to plead guilty.
District Judge Ong Hian Sun said he could not accept Zahidul's guilty plea if he insisted on this.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheldon Lim said Zahidul had not made these claims previously. Responding through the interpreter, Zahidul said: "In previous occasions I have mentioned this, but they say 'guilty, guilty', so I also say guilty."
When told the prosecution was asking for him to be jailed for a year, Zahidul broke down.
For about half an hour, he repeatedly claimed he did not know about the videos and was told each time that his plea would not be accepted if he kept insisting on this.
Finally, in tears, he said he pleaded guilty without qualifying the plea but asked for a light sentence and to be allowed to continue working here.
After Zahidul composed himself, the judge accepted his plea.
Judge Ong then asked when Zahidul downloaded the videos. DPP Lim said he did not know, as this was not borne out by investigations. When asked, Zahidul, too, said he did not know.
In mitigation, Zahidul said six people in Bangladesh depended on him, and that he has not sent money back for six months.
The judge then jailed Zahidul for six months, noting that as he has been in remand since July 2, he could be released on remission in about three weeks.
For possession of child abuse material, Zahidul could have been jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.