December 2018

Simon Macharia set up secret camera in smoke alarm and downloaded child sex images

A sex voyeur, who set up a secret camera in his home to trap a child visitor, has been jailed for three years.

Pervert Simon Macharia’s home in Ashford was later raided by police who then discovered he had downloaded thousands of child sex images.

The 46-year-old later claimed his covert filming was because he had feelings for an adult man.

But a judge told the self-confessed bi-sexual: “You are an individual with a sexual interest in children.

“And you indulge that predilection by downloading a large quantity of images depicting the rape and serious sexual abuse of children.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how Macharia, of St Barnabus Close, Ashford, had admitted 12 charges involving images and movies, some at the worst level; and three voyeurism charges.

Prosecutor Angela Knight said Macharia had hidden a camera in a smoke alarm and had then saved the images onto his computer.

Macharia later told police that he was “shocked” by the amount of sick child sex material found on his computer.

One of the titles of a “shocking” six minute eight second video depicted the abuse of a small child.

The mother of one of his child victims read a letter she had written about the effects the crimes had had on her.

She told Judge Simon James she was sufferings pangs of guilt because she felt as a mother it was her duty to protect her child.

She added: “I feel that I have let him down. What he did will never leave me and I will have to keep that to myself.”

The judge told Macharia he poses a “high risk” of committing further offences in the future.

Judge James added: “Having read and heard the impact on those affected, it is clear to me that the sense of violation that this sort of offence causes has a clear capacity to cause significant, serious and long-lasting psychological harm.”

Macharia’s convictions mean he has been referred to the child safeguarding authority who will decide whether he will ever be able to work with children when he is released.

As he was led away to start his sentence, a member of one of the victim’s families shouted abuse.