November 2018

Pervert used tiny camera to film women in bathroom

A pervert who spied on women while they were using a bathroom was caught when one victim found a tiny camera he had planted.

Jacob Sanderson (22) also had more than 1,800 graphic, indecent images of children on his computer, Leicester Crown Court heard, and a digital copy of The Paedophile’s Handbook.

Sanderson was studying in Leicester when he planted in a bathroom a small USB memory stick with a camera.

A woman who was using the bathroom found the tiny device and showed it to her boyfriend who confronted Sanderson, but he denied any wrongdoing.

However, when the boyfriend looked at the contents of the device he saw videos of his girlfriend and two other women using the shower and toilet.

The boyfriend confronted Sanderson again, and Sanderson threatened to swallow bleach. The boyfriend snatched the bottle of bleach away from him and then called Leicestershire Police.

After his arrest, Sanderson admitted that the police would find child sexual abuse images on his computer.

However, officers were not prepared by the severity of the images and videos they found, the court heard.

Sanderson pleaded guilty to voyeurism and possessing illegal images.

Andrew Peet, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court on Friday that the indecent images of children were so upsetting that the detective looking through the files had to take regular breaks.

He said a summary of the laptop’s contents “makes extremely grim reading”.

Mr Peet said: “The experienced officer had not come across images of such severity during her career.”

The 1,832 files, which included more than 100 videos, had more than 670 that were classed as category A – the most serious category.

Mr Peet said: “The examples given by the officers are images that involved babies starting at one month old, and category A images of boys and girls from the age of two upwards.”

He said the police also found a digital copy of a book called The Paedophile’s Handbook and that Sanderson’s CV, which was also on the laptop, suggested he had been trying to get employment at camps for young children.

Richard Purchase, representing Sanderson, said his client, who now lives in Morecambe, Lancashire, had been abused in his childhood. He urged Judge Nicholas Dean to give Sanderson a sentence that would allow him to be treated rather than just punished.

Mr Purchase said: “We are at a level low enough [that] the court is not obliged to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

“He’s written a letter to the court expressing his remorse and disgust at his actions.”

He said that since being caught, Sanderson had dropped out of university, returned home to Lancashire and had a “number of mental health difficulties”.

Judge Dean agreed Sanderson did not have to go to jail.

Referring to Sanderson’s threats to drink bleach, he said: “You were uncovered and you reacted to that in a way that indicated a great deal of distress on your part.

“All of this must have been a horrific shock for your parents.”

He said Sanderson’s psychiatric report indicated that his family was “loving and caring”, but he had been abused as a child.

The judge said: “The courts are urged, where there are prospects for rehabilitation, not to send people straight to prison.

“Your case very clearly deserves custody, but a community order can be for a lengthier period of time and the longer the better for the prospects of rehabilitation.”

He sentenced Sanderson to a three-year community order, with 90 days on a sexual offender programme and 150 hours of unpaid work.