Upskirt filmer gets name suppression

  • 24/07/2013

A Wellington man and former Department of Internal Affairs employee who used hidden cameras to film up women's skirts has been granted permanent name suppression.

The 36-year-old previously admitted six charges of making an intimate recording when he appeared in the Wellington District Court last month.

This afternoon Judge Susan Thomas sentenced the man to 10 months’ home detention with post-detention conditions including to undertake counselling and not to possess devices capable of recording.

She also ordered the destruction of the recording and the storage devices.

Police say the man modified a laptop bag to conceal a camera, which he used to film up the skirts of girls and women in Wellington streets. The man would follow groups of girls he was interested in – some in high school uniform – getting close to them and covertly filmed them.

Police were alerted to his offending after a store security guard noticed the man attempting to film covertly.

They found data storage devices containing 1400 files believed to be intimate recordings made since February 2012. Among the recordings were 94 videos with covert filming of approximately 180 females.

The man also used a camera in a private bathroom to film women in various states of undress, police say. The four women recorded on camera were all in their early 20s and one was the daughter of a family friend.

On another occasion he took his concealed camera to church meetings. He filmed up the skirt a female colleague from his church as they were knocking on doors and distributing literature.

In sentencing, Judge Thomas said read part of a Pre-Sentence Report which said the man tried to justify the recordings by thinking if the women did not find out it would not hurt them. That was the reason he did not upload the videos to the internet, the report said.

But she said the impact on the women, many of whom would be "thankfully" oblivious they were involved, would be large.

"With modern technology [recording] is so easy to do, but impact on victims is significant and the offending must be denounced with a clear message of the consequence of this type of offending," she said.

The man’s lawyer Andru Isaac said his client’s offending could lead women to be concerned about their choice of clothing while they wear around the city.

"The impact of his offending is likely to be broader than those who were filmed."

The videos were not pornographic, explicit or hardcore, he said. More hardcore material was readily available over-the-counter so the issue was about privacy, not about sexual conduct.

While the 94 videos were a large number, the man’s recording was infrequent with long periods of no recording followed by intense bursts which could have included several recordings in one hour, Mr Isaac said.

The man had already "paid a heavy price" since his offending had come to light, he said.

"He’s lost his job and there’s a very real question about getting another one anytime soon."

His standing in the professional and community had been “destroyed”, Mr Isaac said.

Judge Thomas took into account the man’s guilty pleas, his co-operation with police, good character and that he was a "previously upstanding member of society".

In granting final name suppression she detailed some of the personal circumstances of the man’s wife.

She said it was "hard to conceive of a more compelling application as to extreme hardship which would be likely to be caused with someone convicted of an offence".

3 News

source: newshub archive


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