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‘Pillar of community’ spied on mother and girl in swimming pool changing room

PUBLISHED: 13:31 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:40 17 July 2020

King's Lynn magistrates court/crown court  Picture: Chris Bishop

King's Lynn magistrates court/crown court Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

A 68-year-old man described as an “upright and honest pillar of the community” has been convicted of voyeurism in a swimming pool changing room.

Using a phone and a mirror of the type used to look under cars, Eric Edge spied on a mum and her five-year-old child getting changed at a pool in Hunstanton.

The youngster spotted the phone on the floor and alerted the woman, Lynn Magistrates’ Court was told on Thursday.

“It was a mirror and phone which were being used to observe her,” said prosecutor Paul Brown.

Edge, of Jubilee Drive, Dersingham, had pleaded guilty to observing a person doing a private act on March 12 at an earlier hearing.

Mr Brown said Edge had no previous convictions but this was a serious matter which had involved a degree of planning.

“It goes without saying that it caused distress to the lady and others who use the swimming pool,” he added.

Solicitor Andrew Spence, mitigating, read from a character reference by a long-standing family friend.

She said Edge was an “upright and honest pillar of the community”, a care home committee member and a very generous man who shared goods grown on his allotment. He was well-known in the Dersingham and Hunstanton communities.

Mr Spence outlined recent cancer treatment for Edge, who had suffered five deaths in his family in recent years. He is also the carer for his wife, who has increasing mobility problems.

“He’s extremely sorry about his conduct,” said Mr Spence. “He wishes to apologise to the victim in this case. It’s clearly completely out of character and the whole process is going to be rehabilitation in itself. It’s been a horrible process for him to go through, for him and his family.”

Edge was given a 30-month community order with 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement days and a programme to address sexual behaviour. He was ordered not to go to any public leisure centre or swimming pool for two years and must report to police regularly for five years.

He was told to pay £105 costs and £90 victim surcharge. An order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the mirror.


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