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Voyeur spared jail after using secret camera to spy on woman

PUBLISHED: 09:10 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:35 02 July 2010

Rebecca Gough

A man who took indecent images of a woman with a secret camera was told by a Norwich judge he was lucky not to go to prison.

Carl Lake, 43, pleaded guilty to voyeurism after the woman discovered the camera planted in a carriage clock in a bathroom in June last year.

A man who took indecent images of a woman with a secret camera was told by a Norwich judge he was lucky not to go to prison.

Carl Lake, 43, pleaded guilty to voyeurism after the woman discovered the camera planted in a carriage clock in a bathroom in June last year. Another woman later found a second in an empty air freshener.

The court heard how the woman called the police when she became suspicious of Lake's behaviour as he began to complain of a bad back, which left him in contorted positions.

She discovered Lake, of Bacon Road, off Colman Road, Norwich, was also keeping a pen with a secret camera attached to his pocket which he used to take further pictures.

A total of 9,000 images were discovered by police on his hard drive, including of the woman in various states of undress in the bathroom, along with tens of thousands of others of women in tight clothing.

District judge Philip Browning said: “Voyeurism is a serious charge for which you could have been sent to prison. I'm not going to do that as you are a man of good character and you pleaded guilty and I think there are better ways of dealing with this than sending you to prison.

“You are on very thin ice, however, and if you are convicted of a further offence of a sexual nature the prospect is you would find yourself going to prison.”

Judith Piggin , prosecuting, said: “The defendant complained of back pain and lowered himself to his knees and she found this suspicious and she noticed he always had a pen in his pocket.

“She suspected it was a spy pen and he admitted he had been recording images of her doing day to day things.

“She was very angry when she saw the images, particularly as she had confronted him a number of times and he said he would stop recording.”

Jamieson Plummer, mitigating, said Lake, who was unemployed and receiving benefits, realised the extent of his actions and was sorry for the distress caused.

“The difficulty in this case is that there were pictures found that weren't obscene. They were pictures of women in day tight clothing, for example, like tight jeans.

“He doesn't make the link with sexual gratification and cannot proffer any reason for it. He's a man that's not been in trouble before but he obviously knows this is a serious offence which has bought distress to the complainant.”

Lake was given a two year supervision requirement, a prohibited activity order which forbids him from using or owning covert recording equipment, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He will also be added to the sex offender register for five years. All hard drives, computers, memory sticks and the spy pen will be kept by police.

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