December 2019

Former council official led a secret life stockpiling sexual images of children

A former council official who led a secret life stockpiling sexual images of children and covertly filming women and young girls changing has been jailed.

John Cameron, 34, from Denbigh, Wales, an ex-compliance and contracts manager with Denbighshire County Council, was jailed for 16 months today.

Police raided his home in the summer and found thousands of indecent images and movies, including ones of a young girl who had been sexually abused and drugged.

Cameron admitted in court that he got sexual gratification from looking at images of child sex abuse, adding that he was seeking help.

Children involved in the images which had been downloaded were as young as five and one child aged about six was unconscious, apparently drugged.

He said he had a strong desire to look at images of child pornography and was ‘unable to control it’.

Mold Crown Court also heard how he covertly made his own movies of unsuspecting women – taken at a swimming pool at a holiday camp, and under the doors of changing rooms.

He set up spy cameras in other places and secretly filmed a teenage girl showering.

As well as the jail sentence, Cameron was given a ten year sexual harm prevention order and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

He was also given an indefinite restraining order and cannot contact some of his victims.

Judge Nicolas Parry told him the case ‘was awash with aggravating features’.

Over a period of 14 years Cameron had gathered images of child sex abuse for his own sexual gratification.

This unusually long period of offending was a ‘seriously aggravating feature’, together with the large number of images and videos found, the judge said.

Police raided his home in the summer and found thousands of indecent images and movies, including ones of a young girl who had been sexually abused and drugged
The defendant made his own covert movies and would film people in public toilets, in changing rooms, and would follow women and children into shops filming them.

He filmed people going about their daily lives, invading their privacy.

In mitigation, Judge Parry cited his early guilty pleas and immediate remorse.

Cameron had no previous convictions, the judge said, was a hard working and highly regarded employee who as a result of his offending had lost his employment.

Judge Parry also highlighted how Cameron had taken voluntary steps to address his problems and had completed a ‘Safer Lives’ programme and was registered to follow a course with The Lucy Faithful Foundation.

Prosecuting barrister Jade Tufael told how the defendant had previously at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court admitted six charges of voyeurism together with offences of downloading indecent images of children, and possessing extreme images.

Shortly after 7am on August 22 this year police executed a search warrant at his then Denbigh home, computer and phone equipment was seized together with a box containing a spike end camera.

Police found 194 videos and images at the most serious category A, 135 at category B and 2,352 at category C – together with 91 extreme images.

Mainly the files had been deleted and software had been used to hide the history of internet use. But there had been systematic searches for indecent images of children, the prosecutor said.

An app on his phone appeared to show the screen was off when the camera was running.

Cameron accepted that he had taken images of members of the public and he had searched the internet about the use of spy cameras.

Miss Tufael said that a total of 14, 285 still and movie images had not been categorised.

Films were found of naked females changing – taken from under changing room doors – and drying.

They had been taken during a family holiday at Flamingo Land in Yorkshire.

Other images were found which had been taken covertly in shops or supermarkets and he had set up a secret camera to film a teenage girl showering without her knowledge.

Interviewed a second time he accepted responsibility and said he obtained gratification from what he had done.

Miss Tufael said that there had clearly been a significant degree of planning.