Brierfield voyeur (50) took secret photos

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A middle-aged voyeur from Brierfield took secret “dirty“ pictures.

James Harrison (50) was caught out after he dropped his computer on the floor and gave it to a friend to repair.

The consequences to people who realise they have been the secret victim of somebody else’s dirty mind is a very serious matter

Judge

The friend was shocked to find videos filmed by the defendant saved in files on the laptop, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Harrison kept his freedom after a judge said the probation service felt he was a suitable candidate for therapy, to stop him behaving in such a way.

The defendant, of Garden Street, had admitted two specimen counts of voyeurism – recording a private act.

Harrison, who has no previous convictions and works full-time, was given nine months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision and a four month curfew, between 9-30pm and 5am.

He was ordered to sign the sexual offenders register for 10 years and received a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said Harrison’s friend offered to fix the defendant’s laptop after Harrison dropped it on the floor.

The prosecutor told the hearing the friend believed he had fixed it, opened a few files to check that what he had done had worked and found the recordings.

Mr Parker said the friend later returned the computer to the defendant, found himself in a difficult situation and wasn’t sure what to do. Police were later called and the defendant was interviewed.

The pictures found on the computer had been only a “snapshot” of what had been going on, as Harrison said he had deleted a number of images. The prosecutor added: “He made full admissions as to what had gone on.”

Nick Dearing, for Harrison, handed the judge two letters, including one from the defendant’s employers.

Sentencing, Recorder Simon Medland, QC, said the offences committed by Harrison crossed the custody threshold. He continued: “On the other hand, he is 50, he’s in full-time work and he has expressed genuine and profound remorse over his actions.”

Recorder Medland said Harrison had never been in trouble before, had an excellent work record and was valued by his employers.

The judge said the defendant’s conduct in taking “dirty pictures” was a disgusting thing to do. He told Harrison: “The consequences to people who realise they have been the secret victim of somebody else’s dirty mind is a very serious matter.”

Recorder Medland added: “If I impose an immediate sentence of imprisonment the reality is you would spend only a few months in prison and then you would be out, with very little to keep you on the straight and narrow.”