March 2018

Pensioner avoids jail after hiding camera in teenage girl’s bathroom

A pervert who hid a camera in a teenager’s bathroom has avoided jail so he can care for his ill wife.

Alan Griffiths, of Newton Road, Winwick, taped a camera to the base of a toilet with masking tape

Police found 30 photos of girls as young as three being sexually abused on Griffiths’ laptop.

Griffiths, 71, was a very close friend of the family’s and had frequent access to the house.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how he would often take the children to school and carry out jobs around the house.

Christopher Taylor, prosecuting, said: “Alan Griffiths entered the woman’s property and stuck a camera to the base of the toilet with masking tape.

“When the woman saw the camera, she noticed how a light was flashing, indicating the device was switched on.

“She saw her legs through the lens and when she clicked through photos on the camera, she saw the man in his home.”

The 19-year-old called police who then searched the man’s property.

The court heard how the teenager saw Griffiths as a grandfather figure and the pair had a ‘special bond’.

The court also heard how Griffiths possessed images on his laptop depicting teenage girls and toddlers engaging in sexual activity.

Emily Kempster, who waived her right to anonymity, was present at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday to read out her victim statement.

She said: “I had to take time off work as I was too anxious to leave the house. I received counselling from a colleague when I returned.

“I was struggling to cope with work and found myself crying. I went from being really sociable to sitting inside, I was so confident and now I just go to work and go to my boyfriend’s house.

“I’m nervous around older men and find I cannot trust them, if they get too familiar at work I get very anxious.

“I don’t have many friends left either because I’ve pushed them away.

“I have a re-occurring nightmare of Alan sitting in the house and laughing at me. I do not feel safe at home and I feel like I am always being watched.”

The pensioner was handed a 15-month suspended sentence in addition to 120 hours unpaid work, and a rehabilitation activity.

A restraining order remains in place and Griffiths will be registered on the sex offenders list for 10 years.

Judge Flewitt QC, said: “She is a young lady who you know, she looked up to you and she trusted you.

“You were good to her and her family. It is a tragedy that a positive and constructive friendship for both of you has been lost.

“You have shattered that girl’s confidence and set her back for some time.

“But I can see that you regret your actions

“Each child in those pictures is an abused child somewhere in the world. So long as there is a market for such abuse, they will continue to be used.”

Judge Flewitt then praised the victim for her courage to read out a statement before handing a 15-month suspended sentence to Griffiths who pleaded guilty to one count of voyeurism and three counts of possessing indecent photographs of children..