April 2009

Pervert jailed for filming children in Romsey changing rooms

A MINISTRY of Defence police officer got his sexual kicks by filming teenage girls and children in the changing rooms of a Hampshire leisure centre.

Andrew Rayson, 32, would watch women and children swimming and then following them to changing rooms where he would use his mobile phone to record them.

In an adjoining cubicle – either through a hole in the wall or putting his arm over the top – he would snap his unsuspecting victims, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Tim Dracass said Rayson got away with his perverted behaviour for more than three years until January, when he went to Romsey Rapids.

A 16-year-old girl had just removed her bikini and was drying her hair when she glanced upwards and was astounded to see an arm and a bald head appear above the wall.

She then heard two clicking noises and told her boyfriend what had happened.

Rayson was challenged by the manager in the reception area after CCTV footage had been checked, but he refused to show anything on his phone.

Rayson drove off but his registration number was noted and it was discovered to be that of a vehicle on hire to the MoD Police’s divisional support group at Gosport. It had been logged out to Rayson that day.

Rayson told his partner – another police officer – that he had run over his mobile phone and then got a replacement.

The court heard how she later helped police retrieve the phone but its SIM card had been transferred to another model.

That and computer equipment was seized in a search of Rayson’s home and police found other sordid images of other people he had targeted, who were unaware they had been filmed.

Mr Dracass said some of the footage lasted a few seconds, others were up to a minute in length.

The teenage girl said in an impact statement she had been left “upset, embarrassed and sick” by the incident, which had affected her sleep.

The fact he was a police officer had caused her concern.

Rayson admitted ten charges of voyeurism and asked for 20 similar offences to be considered, which involved five girls under 18 and one as young as ten.

He was jailed for 20 weeks, placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and banned from working with children.

Andy Houston, defending, said: “He has lost everything – his job, his friends, his partner and his home. He has not spoken to or heard from his partner and has moved back to his family in Nottingham.

“He needs help and wants to engage in the sex offender group programme which is the best way to protect the public from this sort of behaviour.”

But passing sentence, Judge Jeremy Burford QC, said only a custodial sentence could be justified and that a community order would not be sufficient.