March 2013

Child sex abuse cleaner who also filmed victims in toilet jailed

AN office cleaner who secretly set up recording devices in cubicles and bathrooms to film adults and children has been jailed.

Police arrested Darren Bilton, 44, last year after he was caught filming a female officer using the toilet.

Investigators uncovered evidence of 10 years of sordid activities.

On Friday, Bilton was jailed for seven years and three months after admitting six counts of voyeurism, four counts of sexual activity with a child, indecency with a child, taking indecent photos of a child and penetrative sexual activity with a child.

After seizing his home computer, police found clips that Bilton had secretly filmed.

He had been setting up secret recording devices in cubicles and bathrooms to film adults and children.

Sometimes he would position his own mobile phone with its inbuilt video camera behind toilet rolls.

Bilton had gone into supermarkets and, after placing phones in shopping baskets, had secretly filmed up the skirts of women in the aisles.

Officers also found movie clips he had taken showing young teenage girls.

St Albans Crown Court heard Bilton, 44, of Hedgebrooms, WGC, had clips of 36 unidentified adults using toilets.

Bilton’s secret activities were exposed in July of last year when a woman office worker at a company in WGC where he was working as a cleaner went into a toilet cubicle he had just left and spotted his phone, which had been partially hidden.

Michael Speak, prosecuting, said the woman had been shocked to see her own legs on the screen of the phone and she challenged him and the police were called.

Judge Stephen Gullick jailed Bilton for a total of seven years and three months.

He was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order and his name will remain on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.

He was also disqualified from working with children.

Detective Constable Charlie Thorogood, who led the investigation, said: “This investigation stemmed from a lady who had seen something suspicious and thankfully reported it to police.

“An extensive investigation then began which uncovered a number of serious crimes.

“I would like to thank this lady and all of the victims and their families for their courage and support throughout this extremely difficult case.

“These are despicable crimes and the sentence reflects the seriousness of what he has done.”