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Man set up covert camera to film oblivious women at Cumbrian leisure centre

Carlisle Crown Court

A MAN who set up a covert camera to film women changing at a Cumbrian swimming pool has been spared immediate prison.

Robert William Hill, 49, secreted a self-contained video device inside a sock in the family changing area at Keswick Leisure Centre during 2017.

But Carlisle Crown Court heard today (FRI) how regular customer Hill was ultimately the author of his own downfall, inadvertently filming himself setting up the camera.

He was seen on footage examined by police alerted by staff who discovered the camera. His identity was confirmed after he was caught behaving suspiciously in the changing area during August last year.

Police recovered IT equipment, including a laptop, after visiting his former home near Wigton.

Prosecutor Charles Brown said: “There were a total of 1,633 adult images, of 12 separate victims, recorded without their knowledge in the swimming pool changing rooms.”

Forty-five stills which had been deleted captured an unclothed young girl who had been changing with her mother. The court heard Hill had “no intention” of capturing images of children, and that his “primary goal” was recording adult women.

Hill, of Mill Race View, Carlisle, admitted two voyeurism charges and possessing category C indecent photographs of a child.

After considering background reports and hearing of Hill’s troubled background, Judge David Potter concluded there were “exceptional circumstances” for suspending a 13-month jail term for two years.

Hill must complete a rehabilitation requirement and 180 hours’ unpaid work, and sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order, both for 10 years. Judge Potter also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all video equipment, leading his barrister, Tom Mitchell, to state: “Everything that Robert Hill recorded will now be destroyed.”

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