October 2015

Construction company boss convicted of voyeurism

David Courtier, 47, had admitted making a 27-minute video recording of a person which was found on his iPhone in February but denied an allegation that he did so covertly and with the intention of obtaining sexual gratification.

Having pleaded not guilty to an allegation of voyeurism, Courtier went on trial this week at Carlisle Crown Court.

But after hearing all the evidence in the case, a jury of six men and six women found him guilty of the offence, which happened last July.

The case was adjourned by Recorder Bernadette Baxter for the preparation of a background report.

Courtier, of Oaklands Barn, Crosby, near Maryport, will be sentenced on November 20. He was warned that all options, including custody, would be considered.

The court heard the person who featured in the footage was said to have been “distressed” upon learning about it.

When arrested by police, Courtier was unable to explain why he had not deleted the video despite it being on his phone for many months.

“The prosecution say that it [the filming] was deliberate,” Jacob Dyer, prosecuting, told the jury.

“This is covert filming. The telephone has been hidden and the motivation is clear.”

When he gave evidence in court, Courtier claimed he involved himself in a “practical joke” which had gone “completely, badly wrong”.

He denied the phone had been hidden and claimed to be a “technophobe” who did not understand the video function on his device.

Having been convicted of voyeurism, Courtier will be subject to notification requirements and has to tell police exactly where he is living. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register. The exact length of time he must do that for will be determined at the sentencing hearing.

“You have been convicted by the jury of this offence,” he was told by Recorder Baxter, who remanded him on conditional bail.

“The fact that I am adjourning your case for the preparation of a pre-sentence report gives no indication as to what the ultimate sentence will be. All sentencing options are open.”