The West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts in Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

A 27-year-old policeman pleaded guilty in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Monday for taking upskirt pictures 311 times, including of his female colleagues in the police station when he was on duty.

Chu Ho-lap was charged with one count of committing an act outraging public decency and 19 others of access to a computer with dishonest intent, the Apple Daily reported.

Investigators found 1,628 images and 290 video clips on Chu’s mobile phone, including a female colleague in Yau Ma Tei Police Station when Chu was on duty. Chu was caught by a plainclothes officer when he took an upskirt picture of a woman in Kowloon’s Mong Kok MTR station in October last year.

On Monday, Chu’s defense lawyer pleaded for leniency and argued for unpaid community service as Chu had been diagnosed with symptoms of depression, Sing Pao reported.

The court heard that Chu’s father was in financial difficulties and debt collectors had visited their family. Meanwhile, he learned his father had fathered a son from an extramarital affair.

To help his father ease his financial burden, Chu gave him HK$150,000 (US$19,110) he saved for his wedding. As a result, his girlfriend broke up with him. The court also heard that Chu felt frustrated as he had been assigned to clerical work in the police station.

The defense lawyer said Chu felt ashamed after the arrest and very remorseful, adding that he was not aware he was suffering serious depression before the offenses, which had impaired his control over his impulsivity.

Deputy magistrate Lau Suk-han replied that Chu’s offenses were very serious and did not believe community service was suitable.

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