A landlord who installed a secret camera disguised as a bedroom clock to spy on his 17-year-old tenant has been sentenced.
In June 2019, the landlord, a 30-year-old man from Peterborough, offered the teen a room to stay in his home after she put a post on social media.
The girl accepted the offer and moved into the address but was unhappy with the level of attention her new landlord gave her. She later told officers that it made her feel uncomfortable.
The man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, paid her compliments often, asked for kisses, asked her to wear his wife’s clothes and suggested she joined a dating app to make money. At one point, he offered to pay the teenager £200 to sleep with him.
When the girl found her landlord’s tablet, she checked his search history which showed internet searches for secret cameras to buy. One search revealed he had searched for a camera that was the same as a bedside clock he’d installed in her room.
The teenage girl then realised he had been recording her in the room, possibly capturing her being intimate with her boyfriend.
Less than a month later, she packed her bags to leave but as she did, the landlord returned to the house. The girl told him she was going to the police regarding what he had been doing.
The teenager made a report with Cambridgeshire Police and handed over the tablet and the camera clock to the officers.
Three days later on 20th July 2019, the landlord was arrested. His home was searched and officers discovered the box addressed to the man, that the covert camera had been delivered in.
The tablet, camera and an SD card were analysed and evidence of voyeurism was found on the SD card from the covert camera. Matching videos were saved and found on the tablet.
When interviewed, the landlord told officers he had bought a covert camera hidden in a bedside clock, but that he had put it in his living room for security reasons. He claimed he had told the teenager about this.
The man denied offering the teenager cash for sex and said he treated her as a friend. He denied entering the girl’s bedroom, placing the camera there, or filming any private act with the device.
However, on the 13th October 2020 at Cambridge Crown Court, the defendant admitted voyeurism.
Yesterday, Thursday 11th February at Peterborough Crown Court, he was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was also handed a four-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Pete Wise, said:
“The details of this case are what many would describe as nothing short of a nightmare.
“I can only imagine the victim’s horror when she discovered the clock in her bedroom was in fact something much more sinister.
“The defendant in this case took advantage of a vulnerable teenage girl. He offered her a place to stay but, in the end, abused her trust by privately filming her and watching the videos back at his own leisure.
“I hope this conviction gives the victim a sense of closure and allows her to move on from this traumatic period of her life.”
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