March 2021

Married school lab technician, 47, who took ‘upskirt’ photos of teacher under her desk and installed hidden camera in her home to spy on her is jailed for 41 months

A married school lab technician who took ‘upskirt’ photos of a teacher under her desk and installed a hidden camera in her home has today been jailed for 41 months.

Michael Nicholls, 47, developed an ‘infatuation and obsession’ with his victim, who was unaware she was the subject of hundreds of voyeuristic images, the court heard. 

His offences were uncovered after he accidentally dropped an SD card in the Welsh department at the school in Denbighshire, north-east Wales.

When its contents were examined in a bid to identify the owner of the card, footage of the victim using the bathroom was found. 

The woman, unaware of what had been happening and of Nicholls’s sexual interest in her, had been ‘extremely upset’ when she saw the video.

Nicholls was later arrested, and police seized numerous devices on which more than 2,300 ‘images of interest’ were discovered – although many of them were duplicates

Mold Crown Court heard Nicholls had an app on his phone which allowed the device to secretly record while the screen appeared to be turned off.

It was also said he had taped a camera under a desk and inside a bathroom in order to capture images and video of her.

Nicholls, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, allegedly sneaked a camera into her bedroom when he visited her home.

He admitted voyeurism by recording a private act for sexual gratification and installing equipment, outraging public decency, and ‘upskirting’ on Wednesday.

Nicholls took secret photographs using equipment installed under a desk, in a bin and in a cupboard. 

Prosecutor Sarah Badrawy said the victim had been friends with Nicholls and his wife, who was also a colleague. 

Nicholls was jailed for 41 months at Mold Crown Court today. He was also handed a restraining order, which bans him from a town in Denbighshire for five years.

He must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.