Norfolk voyeur who hacked into computers and filmed women described as “deeply disturbing”

Robbie David Llewellyn Robbie David Llewellyn

Friday, June 20, 2014
9:45 AM

A Norfolk man has been jailed for filming unwitting women in shop and swimming pool changing rooms in Norwich and Wymondham.

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Hacking and covert filming

Norwich Crown Court heard how Llewellyn’s crimes were a form of paraphilia called scopophilia, which is when someone derives sexual pleasure from looking at nude bodies or erotic images.

The court was told how he used concealed cameras, including one disguised as a shampoo bottle, to obtain video footage of women,

Richard Potts, prosecuting, said Llewellyn had a folder on his computer called Dark Comet, which contained software used by hackers. Once installed on a computer it gives the hacker control of the computer and access to its files, images and means they can log keystrokes and therefore gain sensitive information such as passwords and bank details.

Police found he had access to a total of 474 computers across the world.

The court heard he used a variety of scenarios to get his victims to unwittingly install the malware on their computers, and he had betrayed their trust.

In one case he then used the profile of a woman to contact a 16-year-old girl, and her computer was also infected.

When police searched the Dark Comet folder they found recordings of her Skype conversations and a large video file in which she had filmed herself in her bedroom trying on a dress. At one point she hitched up the dress to put on a pair of tights.

Another video had apparently been recorded without the 16-year-old’s knowledge and was of her in her bedroom.

Llewellyn also had access to the computer of a 14-year-old living in Kent, although it was not apparent how he had managed to do so. He had frequent access to her Skype account and passwords.

Judge Nicholas Coleman imposed a sexual offences prevention order for an indefinite period, which included a raft of restrictions aimed at ensuring the defendant does not reoffend. These include measures requiring him to register the model and serial number of any device which he owns or intends to use to connect to the internet, as well as strict guidelines which prevent him from deleting any internet history.

He cannot own any device which takes any still or moving images without informing the police and he must not take images of anyone without their permission or upload them to social media.

He is not to access any social networking sites, forums or dating sites and he has been barred from entering any changing rooms to which the public have access.

Robbie Llewellyn, of Church Road, Wereham, near Downham Market, used covert cameras and also hacked into the computers of women to obtain personal images and information.

Richard Potts, prosecuting, said in one case the defendant had accessed the webcam of a 16-year-old girl to view her in her bedroom.

In May, he pleaded guilty to 15 offences, including six of voyeurism, five of outraging public decency and four of unauthorised access to computer material.

The crimes happened between January and August 2013 and the court heard how some images had been uploaded to internet websites and have been viewed more than 2,000 times.

The 26-year-old, who had worked temporarily for Norfolk Constabulary, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court yesterday and given a two-year sentence, reduced to 16 months because of his early guilty plea, for the five counts of outraging public decency.

He was also given two 12-month sentences for the remaining offences, which will run concurrently with his 16-month term.

Michael Clare, defending, said: “He does accept responsibility. He pleaded guilty at the earliest oportunity and he had an acute undersanding that he had let a lot of people down.

“He has caused untold harm and he’s deeply ashamed. It’s an excruciatingly embarrassing experience for him, appearing in the crown court and it’s ruined his life.”

He said his client had been living in a shared house in Balham in London, but was no longer living there and had resigned from his job earlier this month as well.

Judge Nicholas Coleman said it was hard to envisage a case where there could have been more aggravating features, and the defendant’s conduct could be said to reflect “distorted thinking”.

He said: “It was pre-planned, sophisticated. It was predatory and risk taking.”

He added: “You were becoming ever bolder and more audacious. There is, in my judgement, clear evidence that you intended the material would be viewed by others and the prosecution pointed out there was sharing and distribution.

“You uploaded images to the internet on to a particular website and there have been over 2,000 views of those images.

“That knowledge, of those who know about it, it is deeply disturbing, not only to them but to the public who know that this is possible.”

He added that Llewellyn had “breached all trust boundaries” and in his judgement it was not conduct that could be addressed by a sexual offences treatment programme.

Judge Coleman said: “This type of conduct is, in my experience, deeply entrenched and has to be punished.”

Llewellyn was investigated by the force’s Anti-Corruption Unit after complaints were received that he was suspected to be taking inappropriate, covert photos of women and had also been using software that hacked into other people’s computers.

He was first arrested and interviewed on August 19, 2013 on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act and Data Protection Act offences. As part of the investigation his house was searched, and computer equipment was seized.

Examination of seized computers resulted in the discovery of voyeuristic images and videos.

During his offending Llewellyn was found to be targeting women in public and private locations.

In addition, the investigation established evidence showing that he had distributed some of the images he had taken via the internet.

Detective Inspector Jeff Yaxley, from Norfolk Constabulary’s Anti-Corruption Unit, welcomed the conviction, and said: “Robbie Llewellyn committed these offences in both public and in private places, targeting women in such a way that, until this investigation commenced, no-one who knew him ever suspected that he was offending against women in this manner or that he was actively engaged in proliferating malicious software to compromise people’s computers.

“It is important to note that the constabulary had employed Llewellyn on a temporary basis, but only after he had completed his vetting process successfully. “Having been arrested he was immediately suspended and subsequently dismissed by the organisation within four weeks.

“Despite not committing any criminal offences within the constabulary offices, investigating officers made it a priority to instigate proceedings resulting in his dismissal as soon as they could whilst the criminal investigation continued.”

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