July 22 2014 Latest news:
Monday, May 26, 2014
A teacher who made secret films of women in the shower and bathroom has been jailed
Christopher Morris, 32, of Parson Drove, kept his secret tapes hidden for almost ten years until his ex-partner discovered the VHS recordings following their break-up.
Morris was studying astrophysics in Preston between 2004 and 2009 when he set up covert cameras in a bathroom, toilet and spare bedroom of a house in the city to film women showering, changing and using the toilet,
The women only found out they had been filmed when police officers knocked on their doors in November 2013 asking them to identify themselves in the recordings.
Following his arrest, Morris – who has taught physics at schools in Preston and Cambridgeshire – told officers he would not mind if someone recorded him in private and assumed his seven victims would not mind either.
He also claimed his scorned ex-partner reported him to the police out of malice but pleaded guilty to seven counts of voyeurism.
Preston Crown Court heard Morris lived with his partner until their relationship ended in May 2012, when he had an affair while his partner was pregnant with their twin daughters.
Following their separation the woman began sorting through their joint possessions and discovered the VHS tapes and a small camera.
Curious to see what was on them, she asked her mother to bring a VHS player to her home but was horrified to discover the man she had been in a relationship with had been filming other women going about their private business.
One of the cameras was motion sensitive and the other transmitted an FM signal to a VHS recorder.
Following his guilty plea to voyeurism, Morris - who now lives in Cambridgeshire – has been banned from working with children and ordered to sign on the sex offenders register.
Judge Christopher Cornwall, sentencing, said: “You have gone to quite extraordinary lengths in order to plant covert cameras.
“What you did over this period of time is obtain sexual gratification from this covert filming of those who did not consent to what you were doing and who would not have consented had you had the elementary common decency to ask them.
The extraordinary attitude – particularly extraordinary in someone who professes to be a teacher of the young – is that if you yourself saw no reason why you shouldn’t do something, you couldn’t concede why someone else would take offence.
“I regard what you did as a gross and whole invasion of the privacy of each of these women.
“Each faces the utmost humiliation at having been treated in this way and they are entitled to feel that.
“You have sought to justify what you have done by saying that the sexual stimulus which you require could not be had through pornography.
“The subtle distinction, no, the blindingly obvious distinction, is that those who allow themselves to be portrayed for the purposes of pornography do so knowing what they are doing. Your victims had no idea whatsoever.”
Morris, of Main Road, Parson Drove, Wisbech, hung his head in the dock as Judge Cornwall handed down an 18-month prison sentence.
As he was led to the cells he gave a wave to his new partner in the public gallery.