March 2019

Pervert stalked Tesco aisles filming up female’s skirts as they shopped

A pervert who filmed up female’s skirts in a supermarket was caught viewing his sick footage – while sat in the in-store cafe.

Karl Berger was caught when security found him in the store’s cafe, viewing his obscene footage.

Berger was spotted stalking the isles, filming women as they bent down or reached up to get products off the supermarket shelves.

A male shopper at the Tesco store in Yeovil saw him bending down and sweeping his shopping basket, which contained his mobile phone, under the victims’ skirts.

The man turned the tables and took pictures of Berger committing the offences and notified store security who found him in the cafe admiring his handiwork on a laptop

When he was later questioned by police he confessed what he had been doing adding that he had been “a silly boy” and had been “doing it for a while”.

Berger, 55, of Rame Cross, Penryn, Cornwall, appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates, sitting at Yeovil.

He pleaded guilty to a charge that between February 13, 2017 and July 3, 2018 at Yeovil and elsewhere in various public places he committed acts outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner, namely that he filmed up the skirts of females without their knowledge or consent.

He also admitted a further allegation of being in possession of 8.95g of cannabis (class B) at Penryn on July 2, 2018.

The court was told that a witness was with his wife and young daughter shopping in the Tesco Extra store at 2.30pm when he saw a female in the clothing section who was wearing a dress.

“He saw Berger, who was very close to her holding a shopping basket and he then walked past, leant over and deliberately lowered the basket under the hem of her dress,” said prosecutor Emma Lenanton.

“The witness saw the basket was empty except for a mobile phone and told his wife he believed the male had either taken a photo or was recording.

“Fifteen minutes later the witness saw Berger in the fruit and veg aisle and was still carrying the basket just with his phone and was also carrying a laptop under his left arm.

“A different female was leaning over selecting some vegetables and the defendant walked purposefully towards her and lowered his basket, sweeping it under the hem of her skirt.

“The witness took photos of what Berger was doing and he then saw the defendant pick up his phone from his basket and he appeared to be pleased with what he had done.”

The matter was reported to security staff at Tesco and the witness showed them his photos.

He said he felt very upset by what he had seen and was shocked at how the females had been “violated” in this way.

The security staff located Berger on the store’s CCTV and started monitoring him and he appeared to be looking for his next victim.

He moved closer to another female but she was aware of her personal space and kept moving away from him.

“The defendant then started following another female up the store’s travellator and held his camera up in front of him, but as he reached the top he bent down close to her and was then seen looking at videos on his mobile phone,” said Miss Lenanton.

“He went to the upstairs café for a drink and was seen looking at his phone and laptop but then became aware he was being monitored and attempted to run away.”

However he tried to run down the upwards travellator and was soon detained and said “I’ve been a silly boy. I did put my phone in my basket and took a surreptitious photo. It’s been going on for a while”.

His home address was later searched by police who found some green vegetable matter in a bedroom which was found to be 8.95g of cannabis.

Miss Lenanton said that it had been a serious offence which occurred in a crowded location and on a busy afternoon, and the defendant intimated he had been doing it for a while.

Defending solicitor Ray Peters said that Berger had been committing these offences over a period of time and a total of 17 clips were found on his phone.

The magistrates told the defendant they were adjourning the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the Probation Service to cover all options, including a custodial sentence.

They said they were not going to rule out that the next bench may commit him to Taunton Crown Court to be sentenced if they felt their powers of punishment were not adequate.

They ordered Berger to return to the court at Yeovil on April 2 and in the meantime released him on unconditional bail.