Man filmed girls’ bottoms in shop
AMAN who followed two sisters around Sainsbury’s and took mobile phone pictures of their bottoms has been spared jail.
Despite claims in court that his offence wasn’t sexually motivated, Paul Chapman, from Poynton, was subjected to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to protect the public.
The girls were in Sainsbury’s in Sale when they were followed inside from the car park by Chapman, 45.
Manchester magistrates’ court was told that their father grew suspicious and alerted security guards, who in turn contacted the police. The court heard Chapman was spotted holding his mobile at an ‘unusual angle’ behind the girls as he followed them.
“He had his phone held in such a way that he was filming them or taking photographs of them,” said prosecutor Nicola Yeadon.
Manchester magistrates said they had ‘substantial grounds’ to impose a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years, adding that it was ‘proportionate and necessary’.
Among other terms of the order, Chapman is not allowed to take photographs or film on trains or in places of work or take any photo image of a person aged under-18, barring named family members and their associates.
Chapman, from Clifford Road in Poynton, was detained by security in the store on May 26 last year.
Police attended and seized his phone.
The court heard ‘ various images’ of the two girls were found on his phone ‘ with a focus on their bottoms’. Ms Yeadon said images of other women ‘ and their lower halves’ were also discovered on Chapman’s phone. They had been taken on trains and in an office environment, the court was told.
Chapman, who was arrested at the store, pleaded guilty to an act of outraging public decency by taking photographs on a mobile phone of the bottoms of young girls.
In a victim impact statement, one of the girls said: “The whole thing has made me more aware that there are people like that.
“It is not fair that you cannot go in a shop with people doing things like this.”
Her sister said it made her feel like she couldn’t enter supermarkets any- more. She added in her statement: “It has made my anxiety worse. It has made me not trust men.”
Max Saffman, defending, said the offence wasn’t sexually motivated and there was a denial of sexual gratification and motivation by Chapman. Mr Saffman said: “He suffers from anxiety and depression. He was constantly messing around with his phone. He denies any sexual motivation or gratification.”
The court heard he has lost his job and the case has had a ‘considerable impact’ on his family.
Chapman, who had no previous convictions, was also sentenced to a threeyear community order with a 60-day period of rehabilitation with the Probation Service, where he will attend tailored courses. He was ordered to pay £100 costs and £75 compensation each to his victims.