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CCTV Peeping Toms jailed

Merseyside pair spied on woman's flat

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Two members of a trio of municipal "Peeping Toms" from Merseyside have been jailed for training a street safety CCTV camera on a woman's flat in Liverpool's Bootle district in November 2004. Over several hours, the BBC reports, she was filmed from the Sefton CCTV centre - which controls 70 such cameras - "cuddling her boyfriend before undressing, using the toilet, having a bath and watching television dressed only in a towel".

Mark Summerton, 37, of Kirkdale, Liverpool, admitted voyeurism and attempted voyeurism at Liverpool Crown Court. He was sentenced to four months' prison and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register. Kevin Judge, 42, from Waterloo, admitted misconduct in public office and received a two-month jail sentence, having already been cleared last month of voyeurism.

The third man - team leader Vincent Broderick, 52, of Bootle, Merseyside - "admitted misconduct in public office on the grounds that he did not see the woman when she was naked, but knew the cameras were being misused and failed to report it". He was sentenced to 200 hours' community service.

Judge Gerald Clifton told the triumvirate: "To dismiss what was happening as laddish behaviour - something that the 21st-century, apparently, condones - is absurd. You have only to read the impact statements of the lady to realise the harrowing effect this has had on her. Her life has almost been ruined, her self-confidence entirely destroyed by the thought that prying male eyes have entered her flat."

During the voyeurism trial , Judge Clifton rejected Judge's claim that he had "only seen the woman naked for a brief moment and had told Summerton, who was controlling the camera, that he was 'out of order'."

Judge Clifton dismissed this with: "I am amply satisfied that your involvement was larger than you are prepared to admit, that you were at some stage controlling the camera, and that you were watching and enjoying the events going on." ®

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