A PEEPING Tom got cheap thrills from secretly filming women using the toilet.
One distraught victim was physically sick in front of police officers when shown the footage of herself that Christopher Darwen had secretly filmed with a pen camera.
Darwen, 29, of Queen Street, Morecambe, pleaded guilty to seven charges of voyeurism and two charges of installing equipment to enable himself to obtain sexual gratification when he appeared at Lancaster Magistrates Court last Thursday. The offences took place between January 1, 2008 and August 4, 2011.
Prosecuting, Peter Bardsley told the court that on July 29, 2011, police received information that Darwen had video footage on his computer of women using the bathroom and getting changed.
Darwen had used a camera disguised as a pen and located it in the toilet at a house on Lune Street in Lancaster and at another address.
The women came to the houses and he filmed them using the toilet. There were a number of videos of women using the toilet at these addresses.
Darwen hadn’t distributed these videos but there had been some preparation and planning involved in using the pen drives.
On February 24 this year, he was interviewed by police.
He said he needed a new usb and found one with a spy camera.
He bought two of them at a cost of £10 each and placed the pen across from the toilet.
He would click on the pen and it would film between 30 seconds and 40 minutes.
He said he got a cheap thrill from the footage but not sexual gratification.
None of the women had consented to be filmed in this way.
It was the act of doing it he enjoyed and he didn’t always watch porn afterwards.
He also told police that a man had been filmed accidentally.
Defending, John Batty told the court that Darwen fully appreciated the revulsion at his behaviour.
He said: “It started out as a bit of a challenge to himself. These were friends who visited his house. He has very little explanation for his behaviour.
“He has been punished already because he has been ostracised by people that were his friends.
“He did not show the footage to other people, or play it on a website, it was for his own ends and nobody else’s.”
Darwen is due to be sentenced on May 16 at Lancaster Magistrates Court.