Man sentenced to prison after filming up girls' skirts at Auckland mall

A man has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to filming up the skirts of girls and women at an Auckland Westfield mall.

He was caught after a father noticed him in action and called police.

Forced to stand and face the consequences of his actions, Michael Gary Morrison appeared before a judge and apologised.

"There are no excuses for what I did and for that I am so sorry for any harm I may have caused the victims," he said in court on Friday.

Two years ago Morrison altered a toy box by adding a long carry handle and hollowing out holes for his phone camera.

He went to Westfield Newmarket and identified female victims wearing skirts, dresses and loose-fitting shorts.

Over six days Morisson held his toy box and stood close to and filmed up the clothing of at least 22 girls and young women. Until he was spotted by the father of a 12-year-old.

"I looked up from the box to the man we had eye contact and then he walked off swiftly and I instantly knew something was up," the father told Newshub.

The father called police, and the next day mall security caught him and handed him over to police. 

"They caught him and raided his house and found the helicopter box that had cameras all in it and a whole lot of other things," the father said.

Morrison's counsel argued for his sentence to be reduced to home detention for pleading guilty, showing remorse and attending rehabilitation for substance abuse.

But Judge Thomas Evangelos pointed out the nature of Morrison's actions and that he purposely targeted children.

"Your targets were young, those who have been identified are aged between 10 and 18, some were in school uniform," Judge Evangelos said.

"Sexual predators should go to jail, I don't think anyone would sensibly argue with that."

Sentenced to a year in prison, Morrison will have to attend rehabilitation programmes and he's not allowed to own or use a device with a camera.

And while he attempts to change, the father of a young woman he filmed hopes she doesn't.

"This sick man is the problem and it has nothing to do with her and we can't live our lives in fear but of course we can be aware," he said.

The judge said girls, women and everybody, need to be able to trust others to act properly and Morrison grossly breached that trust.