August 2018

Man filmed girls changing and used peephole to take photos of naked women

The founder of a children’s soft play company secretly filmed schoolgirls getting changed at his local swimming pool, a court heard.

Eddie Catz founder Darren Johnson, 51, was caught on CCTV ‘stalking’ two 14-year-old girls before using his mobile phone to look under their cubicles as they changed.

When the married father-of-two was arrested police found hundreds of images of women’s exposed breasts after he used two ‘peepholes’ in a toilet at an Eddie Catz in Earlsfield, Surrey.

Kingston Crown Court heard he took more than 700 indecent images of women and children after also filming people changing at the leisure centre, using public toilets at an Eddie Catz and of his female employees at his company’s private changing rooms.

Lauren Sales, prosecuting, told the court: ‘There’s CCTV which shows the defendant stalking children around the leisure centre and attends the leisure centre at the times when schools have swim clubs.

‘He goes up to the swimming pool, sees the kids, sees them using the facilities, stalks the to the shower area and stalks them to the cubicle area and goes into the cubicle next to them.

‘There was a 12-year-old that he was following, it’s almost shown very clearly on the CCTV.’

Johnson, of Putney, south-west London, was finally caught when the two 14-year-old girls spotted his iPhone 6 from under the adjacent cubicle.

The court heard 150 files of photos taken at Putney Leisure Centre were found on one of his computers but these could only be a fraction of the indecent covert images he didn’t delete. 

In July, Johnson admitted five counts of voyeurism over a period of 12 years, between January 1 2005 and June 5 2017, He also pleaded guilty to taking indecent images of his employees at a private changing room from January 1 2005 to February 8 2012. 

‘This is somebody who does recognise that he has had a serious issue. ‘He and his wife have two children, both of them had to receive therapy since all of this came out.

‘He accepts what he did was completely wrong and now he has been able to think through in a way that makes some sense he is thoroughly sorry for what he has done.’

Johnson, who has children aged 18 and 20, resigned as director of Eddie Catz last September after the allegations came to light.

His wife Maria is still a director at Eddie Catz.

Judge Andrew Campbell bailed Johnson and adjourned the sentencing until tomorrow.