Intimate visual recording crimes spike as smartphones, spy cameras proliferate

The mother of a 12-year-old has told Newshub she was sickened and appalled to discover her daughter was secretly filmed while taking a shower.

But Ministry of Justice figures show making intimate visual recordings is a crime that's on the rise - made easier with the proliferation of smartphones and cheap, accessible recording devices.

Fifty-four-year-old Darryl Porteous secretly filmed his victim twice - a secret that was eventually unravelled and exposed.

His cellphone was hidden in a bathroom, set to record and directed towards the shower and vanity.

Four edited video clips of the victim were saved to his Facebook Messenger account.

"Your offending was disgraceful," Judge Noel Cocurullo said in the Hamilton District Court. "You should be utterly ashamed of your offending as a mature man."

We cannot say how Porteous came to know the 12-year-old. But her mother says it's caused huge distress.

"To do that sort of thing was just absolutely appalling and absolutely sickening. When I found out what he'd done I was actually in my car and had to pull over and vomit out the side door," she tells Newshub.

There's been a sharp increase in such offending, with 27 people charged with making an intimate visual recording in 2011. That's increased three-fold with 88 prosecutions in 2019 and 76 last year.

Technology experts say it's a difficult crime to combat.

"What we've seen in recent years is technology getting smaller and easier to conceal," says Gorilla Technology CEO Paul Spain.

The girl's mother worries about undetected incidents involving other young people, but has some advice.

"Follow your gut. If you think someone is wrong, it's quite likely it is wrong. Do something about it and talk to your children."

Porteous was sentenced to six months' home detention, but the judge warned it was a "finely balanced case".

If he'd previously offended in this way - the result would have been jail.