Paedophile voyeur who hid camera in his bathroom is jailed
A VOYEUR’S string of sick offending came to light when a woman complained to police that he’d tried to pay her son to video her while she slept.
That allegation, which was reported to police in Swindon in 2018, never resulted in charges being brought against John Berry.
But the claims led police to the home 36-year-old Berry shared with his mother, where they discovered a camera hidden in the bathroom ceiling and linked to a motion sensor device.
On Friday, Swindon Crown Court heard how over more than a decade self-described voyeurism “addict” Berry had filmed women and girls without their knowledge.
Starting in the mid-2000s, the images were taken using cameras or phones hidden in his then Wantage home and at a friend’s property while they were away. He used a spy camera in a USB stick to film a woman while she performed a sex act on him and also filmed up an underage girl’s skirt on a bus.
His victims included a child who believed she was five or six when Berry photographed her, although his recollection was that she was older.
Berry told detectives he’d deleted the images and videos from the computer, but admitted he’d previously had a sexual interest in underage girls.
He said he was “addicted” to taking videos of unsuspecting people and acknowledged he needed to be punished, telling the officers: “I know what I’ve done. I’m not going to try and argue my way out of it.”
Digital forensics officers were able to find folders of images or videos relating to five women and girls taken up to a decade before.
Also uncovered from his computers were 150 indecent images in category A, 100 in category B and more than 2,700 in category C. The files included 83 videos in the most serious category – A – which includes depictions of child rape and showed children as young as three.
In court yesterday, Berry was seen to cover his ears as he heard his victims and the father of one girl tell of the devastating impact of his offending.
One woman said in a victim personal statement recorded by the police and played to the court: “I suffer with anxiety. I haven’t been able to leave the house since [being told she’d been secretly filmed].
“I have kept my children at home because I feel like I need to keep them close to me because I don’t want something to happen to them.
“[There] is just so much going on in my head and I just think what if they [hidden camera devices] are in my house. What if my children are being videoed? It’s just destroying me.”
Sending Berry to prison for three-and-a-half years, Judge Peter Crabtree noted that one of the man’s victims said she had felt guilty for speaking out.
“She shouldn’t, of course,” the judge told Berry. “The only person who is guilty is you.”
He added: “Anyone who downloads indecent images of children as you did and as is reflected in charges eight to 13 is fuelling an abhorrent industry which very often has serious life-long physical and psychological impact on the victims concerned.”
Berry, now of Totnes Road, Paignton, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to voyeurism, producing indecent images of children and possession of indecent images of children in categories A to C.
Gareth James, mitigating, urged the judge to spare his client an immediate prison sentence, citing the fact he had made admissions to the police when he was interviewed, his remorse, the efforts he had made to address his attraction to underage girls and the difficult conditions in prison during the pandemic.
Berry, who is self-employed, was said to be the primary carer for his mother, with whom he now lived in Devon. He had taken courses aimed at halting his interest in underage girls
Judge Crabtree said the offences were so serious that only immediate imprisonment would do justice to the case.
The defendant must register as a sex offender and remain subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life.
Paedophile to be sentenced for voyeurism and indecent image charges
A paedophile voyeur will be sentenced next month for a catalogue of sexual offences.
Appearing before Swindon Magistrates’ Court John Berry, 36, now of Paignton, Devon, pleaded guilty to four counts of voyeurism and three charges of making indecent images of a child.
He is said to have installed recording equipment between early 2017 and early 2018 with the intention of recording another person doing a private act.
Three of the voyeurism charges relate to offences committed between 2006 and 2014 in Swindon.
The indecent images are said to have been made between 2010 and 2015.
Chairman of the bench Simon Wolfensohn granted Berry bail to appear at Swindon Crown Court on January 22 for sentence.
The conditions of his bail prevent him entering Swindon unless for court proceedings or prearranged appointments with his solicitors or police, being in contact with children under 16 or contacting prosecution witnesses.