October 20 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
A man who hid a spy camera in a schoolgirl’s bedroom to film her getting undressed has been spared jail.
Matthew Hogg, of Fakenham Road, Taverham, placed the device, that was disguised as a pen, on top of the girl’s wardrobe positioned towards her bed, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.
The 43-year-old was confronted by his victim, who was aged 13 or 14 at the time, when she realised something was wrong, the prosecution said.
Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said: “She was removing her jumper and was certainly down to her under clothing when she saw and thought ‘what’s this?’
“It was positioned on the edge of the wardrobe and she thought it was strange.
“She didn’t realise initially that it was anything more than a pen, but then she saw part of it was like a pen and had ink but part of it had a USB memory stick.”
When the girl asked Hogg about the grey camera pen, Ms Lock said: “His reaction was to snatch it off her and say ‘that’s mine’.”
Under police questioning, Hogg claimed he had been testing the camera pen to see if it worked and had not wanted to film the girl “in a nasty way”.
“He said he loved gadgets and thought he could have some fun filming other people,” added Ms Lock.
Officers were not able to recover the camera and no images were found from the wardrobe vantage point, the court heard.
Hogg claimed he did nothing with the images that were taken.
The victim was affected by the incident after she researched the camera device online and realised the implications of it being in her room, Ms Lock said.
Hogg admitted a single count of voyeurism at a previous hearing.
Jonathan Goodman, mitigating, said: “This has had a catastrophic effect on him.
“His partner is not his partner any more, he’s living with his parents, he’s paid a high price for a single incident of ill-judged titillation.”
Hogg was of previous good character and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, he added.
Recorder Maureen Baker QC said Hogg’s behaviour was “worrying” and there must have been planning involved in setting up camera.
She handed him a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years and a five-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), with Hogg banned from having any camera device unless images were kept available to police on their request.