October 2015

Hairdresser secretly filmed girls getting changed for ‘modelling shoots’ in his home

A hairdresser secretly filmed teenage girls changing at his home before he took modelling pictures of them.

Simon Shelton’s covert actions were exposed after a 15-year-old girl discovered a phone propped up on a sock pointing out of a hole in a cardboard box in the room where she was dressing.

She also spotted a lens inside a second cardboard box on the same chest of drawers apparently filming at a different height

Philip Adam, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the girl’s mother had gone with her to Shelton’s home in Penistone Road, Kirkburton, for the photography session and she immediately told her mother she needed to leave.

He suggested Shelton must have realised something was wrong because when the girl and her mother went back upstairs to collect her clothing, the phone had been removed and the other box had disappeared altogether.

When they challenged him about what had been going on he claimed to know nothing about it but they immediately rang the police.

Mr Adam said it then emerged on an earlier occasion a 17-year-old girl who had set up an internet account to allow photographers to make contact with her, had been contacted by Shelton who said he wanted to do a photoshoot to enter a competition.

He had taken some at the salon but on a second occasion after he collected her and her boyfriend at Manchester train station he drove them to his home where she was shown where she could change.

She too was filmed.

The court heard the schoolgirl had followed a third girl, a relative aged 17 who had already been photographed by Shelton after he contacted her through a mutual friend and asked her to do some modelling for him.

She had gone to the hairdresser’s salon with her boyfriend expecting him to do the pictures there but he explained it would take about three hours.

He made her feel at ease and drove her to his home where she had about 15 costume changes and was paid £60.

Mr Adam said after the police were involved Shelton’s laptop was seized and was found to contain 11 videos where he had secretly recorded a total of eight girls.

He was also found to have 56 indecent images or videos of children at Category A the most serious level, 15 at category B and 53 at Category C.

Derek Duffy, representing Shelton, said apart from the 15-year-old, he had found all the girls through modelling sites and it had started legitimately filming hairstyles for competition.

He said Shelton regretted what he had done and the probation service believed they could work with him.

His family were also supporting him to ensure it was the only time he had ever appeared in court.

He had not sought out child pornography but while looking at adult pornography had come across some and accepted he needed help.

Shelton, 33 admitted four charges of voyeurism and 11 of possessing indecent photos.

He was jailed for six months and ordered to register as a sex offender for seven years.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said nothing in his previous personal circumstances could account for his behaviour and there had to be a jail term to emphasise to others such actions would not be tolerated.

He added: “The seriousness of this offence is not the possession of pornography, although the child pornography is serious, but the fact you were arranging for teenage girls to attend at your home under the pretext of filming them.”

He said there might have been some legitimate interest to start with but when they attended photoshoots the girls concerned were unaware of the secret camera equipment in the next room.

The judge added: “I don’t know what you were thinking of, well I do.

“You were thinking of your own sexual gratification. This was a gross abuse of trust, invading their privacy.”