August 2011

Sex register for pool perv who spied on girls

A 56-year-old man has been put on the sex offenders’ register for five years after using the mirrored surface of his mobile phone to spy on young girls getting undressed.

Benjamin Friman, of The Crescent, Bedford, (pic above) was caught watching a ten year- old and a 13-year-old getting changed at the council-run Kempston Pool, in Hillgrounds Road.

The incidents happened on two consecutive days in February this year, while the children were getting changed in a cubicle next to Friman after they had used the pool.

Friman, who previously pleaded guilty to two charges of observing a person doing a private act, was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years during sentencing at Bedford Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The father, who was a regular at the pool, was also handed a 36 month community order, including attending a sex offenders’ programme and supervision, ordered to pay £85 costs and was handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) not to use any changing facility, except specifically for males only, at any public recreation facility.

Toby Earnscliffe, prosecuting, said: “By CCTV Friman was identified going into the cubicles next to the two girls. It would appear that the mirrored surface of the mobile phone was being used to observe the two.” The ten-year-old girl had just finished a swimming lesson at the centre when she noticed a mobile phone between the cubicle as she bent down to put a 20p in her shoe.

Frightened, the child, who hadn’t yet taken off her swimming costume, left the changing room and later her parents contacted Bedfordshire Police.

The following day a 13-year-old girl also noticed a phone between the changing rooms while she was removing her bikini after a swimming session with friends.

The teenager left the cubicle to notify friends and later the police were contacted.

Jo Cestaro, defending, said: “Mr Friman wishes to express his remorse over the way he behaved.

“He wants to express his apologies to the families.”