January 2010

Photos ban for pictures pervert

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A PERVERT has been banned from having photographic equipment in public after he was caught taking pictures up a schoolgirl’s skirt with his mobile phone.

Christopher Downey, aged 28, targeted a 14-year-old girl — who was wearing her school uniform — in Claire’s Accessories in the Market Place, Bolton.

A member of staff saw him acting suspiciously and alerted security, who stopped him outside the shopping centre on April 23 last year.

He was arrested by police and, when they checked his mobile phone, they found six images of a similar nature.

Downey, of Cressingham Road, Deane, appeared at Bolton Magistrates Court yesterday for an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) hearing.

He has previously pleaded guilty to six counts of outraging public decency and was sentenced to a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work.

He must go on the enhanced thinking skills programme. The court was told that Downey has a previous conviction for sexual assault in March, 2006.

At the ASBO hearing, PC Steve Sheppard said that despite Downey’s guilty pleas, he still refused to accept responsibility for his actions and blamed a malfunction on his phone.

Peter Leather, defending Downey, argued that an ASBO was unnecessary as the suspended sentence was enough of a deterrent.

The magistrates decided to grant the ASBO, which has two conditions and will last for two years.

Under its terms, Downey must not possess in public any photo recording device, including a camera, video camera, or mobile phone that records images, unless he is accompanied by an adult member of his family.

He must also leave retail premises if asked to do so by staff. Manu Mistry, chairman of the bench, said when granting the order: “We have looked at the facts and the defendant is an adult who has committed further offences while serving a community order.

You have had a lengthy custodial sentence in the past and have gone on to re-offend which is a concern.

It is clear at the point of sentence you did not accept responsibility. We have also taken into consideration the impact on the victim and the protection of the public.”