SPARED JAIL FOR FILMING SEX ACT WITH PATIENT
Judge tells shamed osteopath it was ‘degrading invasion of privacy’:
AN OSTEOPATH who used a secret camera to film a sexual act with one of his patients has avoided jail.
Michael George Hammond, of Llangoed, Beaumaris, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
The 61-year-old had pleaded guilty to voyeurism after using a camera hidden in a pen on one of his shelves in his practice, to record the act.
He was reported by an ex-partner and former patient, who found the recording while she had been waiting to be seen at his clinic in Liverpool.
At Caernarfon Crown Court, Judge Huw Rees described the act, which took place in Liverpool between 2007 and 2009, as “a deceitful and sly offence on a lady entitled to privacy and respect”.
He added that although the sexual act was consensual, the extents he went to in order to film it, without the victim’s knowledge, was one that required “considerable purpose of mind”.
Judge Rees said: “You sought out this pen, you purchased it, you secreted it in your treatment room and positioned it surreptitiously.
“You trespassed on her dignity and slyly invaded her privacy.”
Prosecution barrister, Mr Karl Scholz called for a custodial sentence, as he believed the offence fell within category one sentencing guidelines for sexual assault, due to raised harm and raised culpability.
He listed aggravating factors including the place of the offence being Hammond’s clinic, the images being available to be viewed and the fact that Hammond appeared to use his position as a platform to abuse women.
Mr Sholz also said the crime “involved planning and involved a breach of trust”.
Paulinus Barnes, defending, said Hammond was remorseful and knew his career was probably over.
He said: “He knew from the outset that his behaviour was disgraceful.
“He abused the lady’s privacy and is genuinely remorseful.
“He’s now had to close his business, his career is over, and he’s lost his good name. That’s quite some punishment in itself.”
Mr Barnes called for a suspended sentence and, in mitigation, reminded the judge of Hammond’s early guilty plea and the fact the viewing of the footage was very limited as the recording wasn’t uploaded to the internet or distributed further.
Passing sentence, Judge Rees described the offence as “entirely degrading” for the victim and told Hammond: “This is a substantial fall from grace for you, at the age of 61.”
Judge Rees also ordered Hammond to do 150 hours of unpaid work, complete a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay victim surcharges within three months. He also ordered the recording to be destroyed.
Judge Rees added: “Any failures of these conditions, exceptional circumstances aside, you will be jailed”.
Disgraced: Osteopath Michael George Hammond of Llangoed
Michael George Hammond, of Llangoed, Beaumaris pleaded guilty to voyeurism