Sunderland Echo

Pictures taken of student naked

- Karon Kelly @sunderland­echo

A Peeping Tom took covert pictures of a naked student while looking in through the window of her downstairs flat.

Mark Hughes had notic ed the victim when he walked past her home in Sunderland and claimed he took pictures of her "for a laugh".

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 42-year-old then texted a pal and boasted "got to love students".

When police checked his phone they found three photograph­s, which he had deleted, of the victim.

The victim said in a statement: "I don't feel comfortabl­e in my home and want to move.

"I am concerned what has happened with the photos, I no longer want to sleep in my bedroom."

Hughes, of Sun ni side, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to voyeurism.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson told the court a CCTV operator had noticed Hughes suspicious behaviour, reported what he saw to the police and Hughes was traced via his car number plate.

Miss Anderson told the court: "The CCTV footage shows the defendant's Fiat Punto driving down the street at 9pm. He parks the vehicle up and walks past the complainan­t's window.

"He is then seen to look through the window and return to his car and drive away.

"The car returns a short time later, he parks up the vehicle on the opposite side of the road.

"He crosses the road and approaches the window again, lifts his phone up to take a photo about 20 seconds later.

"Thirty seconds after that he appears to take a zoomedin photo then a further photo is taken.

"He puts his phone away and remains in position, effectivel­y just looking through the window, regularly adjusting his viewing stance.

"In total he spends between three-and-a-half and four minutes looking at the complainan­t through her window."

Hughes confessed to police he had taken the pictures found on his phone.

Miss Anderson said: "He said he had been walking down the street and looked through the window and saw the complainan­t. She was naked. He left the scene and returned a short time later.

"He said he had taken the photograph­s of her for a laugh, not sexual gratificat­ion."

Mr Recorder Jonathan Sandi ford QC sentenced Hughes to a community order for two years with programme and rehabilita­tion requiremen­ts designed to help him "grow up".

Hughes, who was told his behaviour was "disgusting and pathetic" must sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.

The judge told him: "She was at home where she was entitled to live her life in privacy, without some individual looking through her window and looking at her and what she was doing."

Vic Laffey, mitigating in his defence, told the court Hughes has a good job and is a father.

Mr Laffey said: "He is a man who has acted, in his words, stupid and completely inappropri­ately.

"He describes the incident himself as the most stupid thing he has ever done."

The court heard that Hughes did not send the pictures to anyone and they will be permanentl­y deleted from his device.

 ??  ?? The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

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