July 2018

Teacher jailed after secretly filming young girls in changing rooms

A teacher who secretly filmed young teenage schoolgirls changing in a drama props room has been jailed.

Mark Torley downloaded a special app on his mobile phone to record the 13 and 14-year-old girls as they stripped off.

One girl was filmed topless and others in their bras at the South Molton Community College school in North Devon

Judge Timothy Rose told the disgraced former teacher that one of his victims felt ‘totally violated’ by what he did. Prosecutor Mary McCarthy said: ‘Mark Torley was a drama teacher at the South Molton Community College from 2006 until 2015.

‘The college had a drama department which was mainly occupied by Torley. He had sole control over a main studio, office and also a props room used by students for changing.

‘What happened over a period of a year Torley abused his position of trust as a drama teacher to take covert recordings of the teenage girls changing.

‘He downloaded an app which initiated recordings of the girls who thought they were changing in private.’ She said on a number of occasions indecent footage was found on his laptop in 2014.

Miss McCarthy told Exeter Crown Court that the ‘girls were in a various state of undress’ and ‘one of the girls was caught with her breasts exposed’.

He also set up his camera to ‘upskirt’ a girl’s underwear and on a number of occasions girls were shown in their underwear as they changed.

Most of the victims were identified. Some of the girls were left in ‘shock and horror’ at what he had done.

Some said it was ‘a horrible feeling’ and one said she ‘had no control over the photo’.

Another said: ‘I feel totally violated that this could have happened in school’ and another felt ‘shock’ adding it was ‘really creepy’.

The prosecutor said other girls worried that he may have filmed them too and they were left in a ‘climate of fear and revulsion’.

Miss McCarthy said Torley ‘was very friendly with his students and built up rapport with them, and the level of harm and upset increases by that’.

Torley, now of Dundalk, County Louth, admitted four counts of voyeurism between 2012 and 2015 and one charge of possessing indecent pictures of a child – which related to downloading photos of children aged eight to 13 posing and showing their genitalia.

Torley, who had no previous convictions, was cleared of sexually touching girls at the school by a jury at a previous hearing.

The 48 year old told the jury at that trial: ‘I tried to be a good teacher. I tried to be a good man but failed.’

He was given a ten year long Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from contact with young girls.